By AARON KATERSKY, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a subpoena for his tax returns, bringing the matter to the nation’s highest court for a second time.
The Supreme Court previously ruled the president was not entitled to the kind of immunity from the subpoena that he sought. In the prior ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing the 7-2 majority opinion, concluded that “no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.”
Roberts returned the case to a lower court to allow Trump to “raise further arguments as appropriate,” such as claims about the subpoenas’ burden on his official duties.
This time the president is arguing the subpoena “crosses the line,” is “overbroad and lacking a good faith basis.”
“The Court unanimously remanded this case to the district court so ‘the President may raise further arguments as appropriate.’ Those arguments include the two the President raised in a second amended complaint: the Mazars subpoena is an overbroad ‘fishing expedition’ and was issued ‘in bad faith’ to harass him,” the Trump filing states.
Trump’s petition has asked the Supreme Court to stop enforcement of the subpoena while the justices decide whether to take the case. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which issued the subpoena as part of an investigation into the president’s finances, previously agreed not to enforce the subpoena while the Supreme Court decides.
“Interim relief is also warranted given the irreparable harm the President will suffer without a stay,” the petition said. “Even if the disclosure of his papers is limited to prosecutors and grand jurors, the status quo can never be restored once confidentiality is destroyed.”
The president insisted the subpoena is too broad because the investigation is limited to hush payments Michael Cohen made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“A demand for virtually every financial record of a global corporation and its owner is of course plausibly overbroad if the grand jury is focused on certain payments made in 2016,” the president’s petition said.
The district attorney’s office has said the investigation is not limited to the hush payments and cast the subpoena as “garden variety” for any finance-related investigation.
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