Lawyers: Trump might claim harassment in tax return quest

President Donald Trump speaks during a law enforcement briefing on the MS-13 gang in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
President Donald Trump speaks during a law enforcement briefing on the MS-13 gang in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – A week after losing a Supreme Court ruling, President Donald Trump’s lawyers said Wednesday they're considering challenging a subpoena for his tax records by criminal prosecutors on grounds that it's a fishing expedition or a form of harassment or retaliation against him.

The plans were outlined in a letter to a Manhattan federal judge overseeing legal squabbles related to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s request to Trump's longtime accountant for eight years of the president's personal and corporate tax records in a criminal probe.

The judge, Victor Marrero, scheduled a hearing for Thursday.

Vance is seeking the records in part for a probe of payments that Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged during the 2016 presidential race to keep the porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal from airing their claims of extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the affairs.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to campaign finance and lying to Congress, among other crimes.

In its ruling last week, the Supreme Court rejected arguments by Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department that the president cannot be investigated while he holds office or that a prosecutor must show a greater need than normal to obtain the tax records.

The top court returned the fight over the subpoena to Marrero, saying Trump’s lawyers may still challenge it in the same manner as anyone served with a subpoena.

Lawyers for the Republican president noted that the Supreme Court in its ruling said they can raise arguments that the subpoenas seek too much information, or are designed to impede Trump's constitutional duties or harass, manipulate or retaliate against him.