Donald Trump sued Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. after the DA subpoenaed eight years of the president’s tax returns in a probe to determine whether or not the Trump Organization falsified financial records.
“In response to the subpoenas issued by the New York County District Attorney, we have filed a lawsuit this morning in federal court on behalf of the President in order to address the significant constitutional issues at stake in this case,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement.
The subpoena is similar to a demand of Trump’s tax records by House Democrats who claim to have authority to see them under a law from the 1920s. Of course, Trump has sued to block both requests while also pursuing a court order to block Congress from viewing his New York state tax returns in a seemingly endless fight over the president’s tax information.
Trump also is appealing court decisions by federal judges in New York and Washington that would allow the House Financial Services, Intelligence and Oversight committees from obtaining his records from Deutsche Bank, Capital One Financial Corp. and his accountant, Mazars USA, which also is named in his latest lawsuit.
“Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations,” the accounting company said in a statement. “We believe strongly in the ethical and professional rules and regulations that govern our industry, our work and our client interactions.”
Vance is investigating whether Trump Organization executives falsified business records relating to hush money payments to adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both said they had an affair with Trump.
The investigation centers around Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, who admitted to making the payments to buy the silence of the women before the 2016 election. Trump reimbursed $130,000 to Cohen, who is currently serving a three-year sentence for campaign-finance violations over the Clifford payment. Cohen also reportedly paid $150,000 to the publisher of The National Enquirer to buy McDougal’s silence.
Trump famously (or infamously, depending on who you ask) has bucked more than 40 years of major-party presidential candidates offering up their tax returns, claiming he couldn’t release them because he is under audit. The IRS says there is no such rule barring him from releasing them.
After the election Trump then said the American people didn’t want to see his tax returns because they elected him without them, and he has since declined to release them.
Several states, led of course by California, are attempting to pass laws blocking anyone from being on their presidential primary ballots without releasing their tax returns.