July 20, 2020
A New York prosecutor has warned the White House not to try to “run out the clock” on the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe into President Donald Trump, Reuters reports.
Carey Dunne, general counsel for District Attorney Cyrus Vance, spoke at a hearing by teleconference in federal court on Thursday, July 16, in Manhattan to discuss Trump’s renewed legal challenge to block or narrow Vance’s ability to see his tax returns.
The case concerns an August 2019 subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of personal and corporate tax returns, related to Vance’s criminal probe into the Trump and his Trump Organization.
According to Reuters, Dunne told U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero that there are looming deadlines to prosecute cases because of statutes of limitations, and more delays could give Trump the “absolute temporary immunity” the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected.
Marrero approved a jointly negotiated schedule giving Trump until July 27 to file papers formally opposing the subpoena and its scope. Vance won’t enforce the subpoena that date.
William Consovoy, a lawyer for Trump, said the president could argue that the subpoena was “wildly overbroad” as to reflect Vance’s bad faith, which the prosecutor has denied.
Consovoy said the subpoena was similar to congressional subpoenas that the Supreme Court refused to enforce, and that Vance, a Democrat, might have gone after the Republican president to harass him or because of political differences.
In a Reuters/Ipsos poll this week, 66% of adults agreed that Trump should release his tax returns from earlier years, and 68% said Americans have a right to see presidential candidates’ returns before the November 3 election.
Vance’s investigation began after news reports that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to buy her silence about claimed sexual encounters with Trump in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election. Trump has denied that the payoff ever occurred.
Even if Vance prevails, grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely Trump’s financial records will become before the election, those in the know say.
According to Reuters, all of that could change if criminal charges were brought against anyone, including other defendants. The litigation has made it unlikely this would happen, at least until after the election.
The case is Trump v Vance et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-08694.
Research contact: @Reuters