Trump, Manhattan Prosecutors to Face off Over Tax Returns

Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump are expected to appear in court on Wednesday to urge a federal judge to block Manhattan prosecutors from obtaining eight years of the president’s tax returns as part of a criminal investigation.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance subpoenaed the returns from Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA on Aug. 29. Earlier this month, Trump sued to block the subpoena, arguing that a president is immune from criminal investigation while in office.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to block the subpoena on Wednesday morning.

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. A spokesman for Vance declined to comment on the case.

Before Trump, it was customary for presidents to disclose their tax returns during their election campaigns.

Trump’s lawsuit against Vance is one of several efforts by the president to shield his personal finances from investigation.

He is separately trying to block Deutsche Bank AG from handing over financial records, which the bank has said include tax returns, sought by Democrats in Congress. A federal appeals court in Manhattan heard arguments in that case on Aug. 23 and has yet to rule.

Vance argued in a court filing on Monday that Trump must not be allowed to assert “blanket immunity from criminal prosecution.” He also said that Marrero, a federal district court judge, does not have the authority to decide the case because the dispute belongs in New York state court, where a grand jury issued the subpoena.

Mazars, which is also named as a defendant in Trump’s lawsuit, said in a statement that it “will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.” It said that as a matter of policy it does not comment on its work for clients.

The scope of Vance’s investigation is not publicly known.

The subpoena on Mazars came four weeks after Vance issued a separate subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of hush money payments to two women prior to the 2016 presidential election. The women, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, have said they had sexual relationships with Trump, which he has denied.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Dan Grebler)