DOJ urges Supreme Court to back Trump in tax records case

The brief took pains to say that there was nothing unusual about the department’s participation in the case, noting that it had previously filed friend-of-the-court briefs in cases in which Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton had claimed immunity in civil suits.

“The United States has a substantial interest in protecting the office of the president and the powers and duties vested in that office,” the brief said. “The United States also has a substantial interest in protecting the autonomy of the federal government from potential interference by the states.”

The subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, threatened both interests, the brief said. “This case involves the first attempt in our nation’s history by a local prosecutor to subpoena personal records of the sitting president of the United States,” the brief said.