Commonwealth of Virginia
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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING LEADS OPPOSITION TO TRUMP’S EFFORTS TO IMPEDE INVESTIGATIONS AND HIDE EVIDENCE
~ Herring leads coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing amicus brief at Supreme Court in Trump v. Vance arguing Trump is not above the law and that he cannot block a valid subpoena sent to his accounting firm seeking financial records ~
RICHMOND(March 4, 2020) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is leading a coalition of 16 attorneys general who are fighting to ensure that President Trump cannot impede criminal investigations and hide evidence of potential crimes. Attorney General Herring has authored an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in Trump v. Vance making clear that President Trump cannot block a valid grand jury subpoena sent to his accounting firm that seeks financial records as part of an ongoing investigation by the District Attorney of New York.
“Donald Trump is not above the law, and he does not get to block criminal investigations and shield evidence of potential illegal activity just because he is President,” said Attorney General Herring. “This lawsuit has the potential to set the extremely dangerous precedent that the President is above the law. That is just plain wrong. This is just another example of Trump’s worrisome pattern of thwarting legitimate criminal investigations.”
In the brief, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues argue that President Trump is not above the law and “[the Supreme Court] has repeatedly held that the President is not immune from judicial process.” Adding that the Supreme Court has “already rejected nearly all of the arguments the President and the DOJ urge in favor of immunity.”
Attorney General Herring and his colleagues also highlight that President Trump makes the baseless and ridiculous argument that upholding the Second Circuit’s decision would allow state and local prosecutors to pursue criminal actions against the president purely based on political motivations. The brief says “unable to offer a single example of the kind of harassing prosecution he claims will be ubiquitous, the President’s brief relies on conjecture and the paradoxical assertion that the fact that this case is the first of its kind proves that presidential immunity has long been accepted.”
The coalition also points out that the grand jury subpoena that is at issue in the lawsuit “seeks information about events predating the President’s time in office, when he was a private citizen and a resident of New York” and “does not threaten any interfere with the President’s official acts…[and] it does not even involve them.” Additionally, the subpoena was directed to a corporation that is associated with the President and does not actually “purport to compel the President to do anything at all.”
Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today’s brief are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, D.C., Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington.
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