President Donald Trump argued in a federal appellate court filing Monday that a district court had wrongly sided with Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s office in a lawsuit over a subpoena to Trump’s longtime accounting firm for his financial records, saying the lower court’s assessment was “not the kind of process the Supreme Court envisioned when it remanded this case.”
“In evaluating whether the President stated claims for overbreadth and bad faith, the district court imposed a withering standard of review that wouldn’t have been used against any ‘other citizen,’ ” Trump’s attorneys wrote.
Trump’s filing is the latest step in an extended legal tussle with the district attorney’s office that will result in oral arguments Tuesday over Trump’s request for a stay pending appeal before a three-judge panel on the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals.
In their filing Monday, Trump’s attorneys also warned that the President would suffer “irreparable harm” if the stay isn’t granted, arguing that “while destruction or return of documents can provide a ‘partial remedy’ for the ‘invasion of privacy,’ … the harm the President seeks to prevent is use of these records to engage in a bad-faith fishing expedition. The Court ‘cannot unring that bell’ even if the subpoena is eventually invalidated.”
They also raised the possibility that the district attorney’s office could disclose the records, saying New York law “doesn’t strictly forbid the disclosure of records produced to the grand jury,” and that such information could become public through an indictment or a grand-jury report.
“For the District Attorney’s argument to even get out of the starting gate, then, he would need to commit to keep these records confidential during the appeal — irrespective of what New York law might permit. He has made no such commitment,” they wrote.
Trump’s attorneys asked the appellate court, in the event it denies Trump’s request for a stay pending appeal, to grant an administrative stay to give the Supreme Court time to consider Trump’s stay application.