By Karen Freifeld
(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is not entitled to greater protection from a grand-jury subpoena for his tax returns just because he is president, the Manhattan district attorney said in a court filing on Friday.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance was responding to an argument by Trump’s lawyers that the president deserves extra protection from what he called harassment.
Vance last August issued a grand jury subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, demanding eight years of his business and personal returns and other documents.
Trump has repeatedly fought efforts by lawmakers and prosecutors to obtain his tax returns, which should shed light on his financial dealings. He also defied decades of precedent as a candidate by refusing to release tax returns.
Trump filed his latest challenge to the grand-jury subpoena last month, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled he was not immune from state criminal probes while in the White House. The court said Trump could battle the subpoena on other grounds.
Vance has asked a judge to dismiss Trump’s challenge, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan.
Grand jury deliberations are secret but Vance has suggested the probe involves “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” the president’s business, including alleged insurance and bank fraud.
In Friday’s filing, his office said Trump was not entitled to extra protection from a subpoena unless it would significantly interfere with his presidential duties. Trump did not raise an argument that met that standard, he said.
Vance also called Trump’s claims that the subpoena is overbroad and was issued in bad faith “incredible” and “unreasonable.”
He rejected Trump’s claim that the grand jury investigation concerned only hush-money payments made in 2016 by the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.
In a separate letter to the judge, Vance counsel Carey Dunne said Trump was not entitled to additional information about the probe, rejecting a proposed motion by Trump’s lawyers.
Last month, Dunne warned U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero not to let delays kill the case, noting the looming deadlines to prosecute crimes due to statutes of limitations.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Noeleen Walder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Alistair Bell and Richard Chang