- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Justice Department on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to block multiple subpoenas for President Trump’s tax records, saying are unconstitutional and amount to presidential harassment.

“These cases involve the first attempts by congressional committees to demand the personal records of a sitting President of the United States,” Justice Department attorneys wrote in a filing. “That use of their limited and implied investigatory powers poses a serious risk of harassing the President and distracting him from his constitutional duties.”

The Justice Department is representing the Trump administration, which has appealed lower court rulings ordering him to turn over tax records and other financial records to Congress and New York prosecutors.

Department attorneys said the Constitution prohibits local law enforcement from investigating the president. The same standard must apply to Congress, they argued in the 43-page brief.

“Committees investigating far-reaching public problems such as money laundering, do not properly exercise that discretion by making the president the primary target of their inquiries,” the Justice Department said.

In April, the House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed the president’s personal accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his personal financial records. The House Intelligence and House Financial services committees also issued subpoenas for Mr. Trump’s personal and business records to Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

Both committees say the subpoenas are necessary for their investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vane also subpoenaed Mazars for Mr. Trump’s tax and financial records as part of a separate investigation.

Two federal appeals courts last year upheld the validity of the subpoenas, ruling Mazars and the banks would have to turn over Mr. Trump’s financial records.

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