Trump Lawyer: Tax Returns Subpoena an ‘Inappropriate Fishing Expedition’
During a federal appeals court hearing Wednesday, one of President Donald Trump’s attorneys slammed a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office subpoena seeking some of the president’s tax returns, calling it an “inappropriate fishing expedition.”
“We are objecting to the entire subpoena,” William Consovoy said while being questioned at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan by a three-judge panel.
The DA’s subpoena targets Mazars USA, which has given up some financial records for Trump and his company. Eight years of the president’s tax returns are still up for contention, though.
Trump has famously denied access to his tax returns throughout his presidency, bucking the trend that every recent president has cooperated with after saying he would release them at a later date.
The president tried to get the subpoena tossed out earlier this month, but the effort was denied by a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
During his 50-minute argument, Consovoy made a broader claim that Trump is immune to criminal investigation while holding his position as president, which was more than what was previously stated in memos within the Justice Department.
Consovoy backed this argument up by saying “the district attorney … has has declined to say the president is not a target,” according to CNBC.
He also said his team believes “there is evidence” the whole subpoena is just an attempt to smear Trump’s name and embarrass the president.
The DA’s general counsel, Carey Dunne rebuked the claims of immunity from criminal investigation.
“We would dispute there is an absolute blanket immunity,” Dunne said.
There isn’t a clear timeline on a decision from the court, but it seems like either side will reject the decision against them and ask the Supreme Court to overturn whatever verdict is reached.
“This case seems bound for the Supreme Court,” Chief Judge Robert Katzmann said.
“I think both sides see this as an inevitability, your honor,” Dunne said in response.