A New York prosecutor on Thursday warned against allowing U.S. President Donald Trump to run out the clock on the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe into Trump and his company.
Carey Dunne, general counsel for District Attorney Cyrus Vance, spoke at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan to discuss Trump’s renewed legal challenge to block or narrow Vance’s ability to see his tax returns.
The case concerns an August 2019 subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of personal and corporate tax returns, related to Vance’s criminal probe into Trump and his Trump Organization.
Dunne told U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero there are looming deadlines to prosecute cases because of statutes of limitations, and more delays could give Trump the “absolute temporary immunity” the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected.
“Let’s not let delay-kill this case,” Dunne said. “Justice delayed becomes justice denied.”
Marrero approved a jointly negotiated schedule giving Trump until July 27 to file papers formally opposing the subpoena and its scope. Vance won’t enforce the subpoena through that date.
William Consovoy, a lawyer for Trump, said the president could argue that the subpoena was “wildly overbroad” as to reflect Vance’s bad faith, which the prosecutor has denied.
Any case would be brought to grand jury
Consovoy said the subpoena was similar to congressional subpoenas that the Supreme Court refused to enforce, and that Vance, a Democrat, might have gone after the Republican president to harass him or because of political differences.
Vance’s investigation began after news reports that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 US to buy her silence before the 2016 election about claimed sexual encounters with Trump, which he has denied.
WATCH | A look at the Mueller probe and other investigations into Trump:
On July 9, the Supreme Court in a 7-2 vote rejected Trump’s earlier argument he was immune from state criminal probes while in the White House.
Even if Vance prevails, grand jury secrecy rules make it unlikely Trump’s financial records will become public soon.
That could change if criminal charges were brought against anyone, including other defendants. The ongoing litigation has made it unlikely this would happen, at least until after the Nov. 3 election.