Trump Taxes: President Ordered to Turn Over Returns to Manhattan D.A. – The New York Times

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have called the investigation by Mr. Vance, a Democrat, politically motivated. Mr. Vance has accused the president and his team of trying to run out the clock on the investigation.

Last week, lawyers with Mr. Trump’s Justice Department jumped into the fray, asking the judge to temporarily block the subpoena while the court takes time to consider the “significant constitutional issues” in the case.

The Justice Department, led by Attorney General William P. Barr, did not say whether it agreed with Mr. Trump’s position that presidents cannot be investigated. But, citing the constitutional questions, the department said it wanted to provide its views. A spokeswoman for the department declined to comment on the ruling Monday.

The Constitution does not explicitly say whether presidents can be charged with a crime while in office, and the Supreme Court has not answered the question.

Federal prosecutors are barred from charging a sitting president with a crime because the Justice Department has decided that presidents have temporary immunity while they are in office.

But in the past, that position has not precluded investigating a president. Presidents, including Mr. Trump, have been subjects of federal criminal investigations while in office. Local prosecutors, such as Mr. Vance, are also not bound by the Justice Department’s position.

As part of a temporary deal reached last month, Mr. Vance’s office agreed not to enforce the subpoena until two days after Judge Marrero issued a ruling, which would give Mr. Trump a chance to appeal if he lost. But that agreement was to expire at 1 p.m. on Monday.

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