Just hours after President Donald Trump sued to block a subpoena seeking his tax returns, he secured a temporary reprieve.
Manhattan’s top prosecutor agreed Thursday to at least briefly suspend the subpoena, pending the results of a court hearing.
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With the subpoena, District Attorney Cyrus Vance had been seeking eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns as part of a wide-ranging investigation into hush-money payments during the 2016 presidential campaign. The subpoena was initially filed late last month.
Attorneys for Vance and Trump met Thursday with a clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero, the Bill Clinton-appointee assigned the case, to go over logistics in the new lawsuit. There, they agreed to a rapid-fire briefing schedule that will culminate with oral arguments Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, Vance consented to stay enforcement and compliance with the subpoena until after next week’s court hearing.
“We are pleased that the constitutional issues at stake in this case will receive the appropriate review from the District Court,” said Trump personal attorney Jay Sekulow.
The Trump lawsuit opens by arguing that “virtually all legal commenters agree” a sitting president can’t be subject to a criminal process while in office. “Yet a county prosecutor in New York, for what appears to be the first time in our nation’s history, is attempting to do just that,” the president’s lawyers argue, naming both Vance and Trump accounting firm Mazars as defendants.
Trump’s attorneys urged the judge to declare the Vance subpoena unconstitutional. But they did allow that Trump might later face off against the New York prosecutor when the president is no longer in the White House.
“This court should declare it invalid and enjoin its enforcement until the President is no longer in office,” they wrote.
Vance spokesman Danny Frost earlier Thursday acknowledged in a statement receiving Trump’s lawsuit and said the district attorney “will respond as appropriate in court.”
Vance’s subpoena for the president’s tax returns, first reported earlier this week by The New York Times, came after the Justice Department’s decision earlier this summer to conclude its own investigation into some of the same issues.
Already, Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen has received a three-year prison term as a result of the investigations into the Trump campaign’s finances. Trump himself was implicated in Cohen’s crimes, which prosecutors have said were centered around payments made to silence several women in the heat of the presidential election.
Trump’s newest lawsuit is now one of many swirling around the issue of his tax returns.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has a case in court seeking Trump’s federal tax returns, though it is still in its early stages. A district court judge rejected Democrats’ bid to fast-track the case, and Trump is now countering with a motion to dismiss the suit.
A separate suit in which Trump is suing Neal to prevent him from tapping a New York law to obtain his state returns has bogged down in a jurisdictional dispute over whether the case ought to be heard in Washington, D.C., or in New York City.
Brian Faler contributed to this report.