The office of the Manhattan-area District Attorney Cy Vance is arguing that President Donald Trump should not expect to receive information from them about an ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization. That investigation includes a subpoena for years of the president’s financial records (including his tax returns), which the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that Trump did not have special immunity from just because he’s the president. In one recent filing, Vance’s office noted that a “subpoena recipient is not entitled to discovery in a separate, civil lawsuit,” although that process of discovery, in which Vance’s office would be compelled to produce information about the case, seems to be exactly what Trump’s team is after.
Manhattan DA Vance already has Trump’s Deutsche Bank records. He just needs those documents from Mazars to see whether the numbers match. Inflating assets on loan documents = bank fraud. https://t.co/Wox6DrrOCh
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) August 6, 2020
Trump’s team demanded more information about Vance’s investigation following a recent filing in which the DA’s office said they were looking into “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.” In that filing, Vance’s team cited news articles outlining issues like potential tax fraud. The president’s legal team argued in response that “the bare fact that ‘there were public allegations of possible criminal activity,’ which is all these citations show, provides no insight into whether the grand jury is in fact investigating them and whether they were a basis for issuing this subpoena.” Thus, they want information.
Trump’s lawyers walked right into it when they said Vance’s subpoena was broader than the range of crimes being investigated. Nope. Vance turns out to be investigating wide-ranging bank and insurance fraud. Oops!https://t.co/xxBpDsUC4v
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) August 4, 2020
Carey Dunne, a lawyer with Vance’s team, has previously insisted that the Trump team’s real modus operandi is enacting delay. Dunne said last month:
‘What the president’s lawyers are seeking here is delay. I think that’s the entire strategy. Every day that goes by, the president wins the type of absolute temporary immunity he’s been seeking in this case, even though he’s lost on that claim before every court that’s heard it, including now the Supreme Court.’
Trump, like in the case of the numerous other investigations that he has faced while in the public spotlight, has argued that the investigation that Vance is leading is some kind of witch hunt. Yet, in the original Supreme Court ruling denying the president’s argument that he has special immunity, Chief Justice John Roberts made clear that there’s no conspiracy. As he said:
‘No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.’