Battle to uncover Trump’s financial secrets heats up

Evan Vucci / AP file

WASHINGTON — Manhattan prosecutors and lawyers for a House committee urged the Supreme Court on Thursday not to block a pair of subpoenas directing President Donald Trump’s accounting firm to turn over several years’ worth of financial documents.

They’re likely to produce the first response by the Supreme Court to the growing number of legal battles over access to Trump’s financial secrets.

After lower courts rejected attempts to block the subpoena, Trump’s lawyers urged the Supreme Court last week to keep it on hold while they prepare to appeal those rulings. Chief Justice John Roberts imposed a brief hold to allow lawyers on both sides to weigh in.

The House lawyers urged the court to lift the stay and let the subpoena take effect. But if the court is considering taking up the president’s appeal, they urged the justices to impose an unusually fast timetable, with all legal briefs to be due by Dec. 11. If that happened, the hold on the subpoena would remain in place until the court decided whether to hear and decide the case.

The court could also simply decline to take up the president’s appeal, allowing the House to enforce its subpoena.

In a separate filing on Thursday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance also urged the Supreme Court not to take up an appeal from Trump’s legal team over access to his financial records.

The Trump legal team has argued that because a president cannot be indicted while in office, he is immune from any part of the criminal justice process, including grand jury subpoenas. During an appeals court argument last month, William Consovoy said a sitting president could not be investigated even for shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.

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