Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. persists in the fight to make President Trump reveal his tax returns.
Ever since United States President Donald Trump was sworn into office, his tax returns have been a major point of contention for, well, the whole country. Despite several attempts to force him into revealing them, his tax returns have been buried under piles of tweets, political scandals, and other controversies. Now, in a new federal court filing, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has revealed that he is investigating Trump and his company for "possible bank and insurance fraud," The New York Times reports. The investigation is reportedly a "significantly broader inquiry" than the ones in the past, so we may yet have some hope for vindication.
Breaking News: The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested for the first time that it’s investigating President Trump and his company for possible fraud https://t.co/7GUYrvVnIu— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 3, 2020
The federal court filing argues that Trump's accountants must comply with a grand jury subpoena requesting eight years of both personal and corporate tax returns. The President has in response asked (ahem, coerced may be a better term) a judge to declare the subpoena invalid. While the District Attorney's inquiry was thought to largely focus on "hush money" payments made on behalf of Trump to two women during his 2016 presidential election campaign, it appears that prosecutors did not explicitly identify "matters under scrutiny in the grand jury inquiry," a process which is typically done confidentially.
As I’ve said, this can move quickly. “The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested...it has been investigating President Trump & his company for possible bank and insurance fraud,a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged” https://t.co/8DdgZ1ZzG9— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) August 3, 2020
The filing also defends the subpoena, stating that it has a "wide legal basis" as there was nothing "improper or even unusual" about it. It cited the "public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization." The public reports the prosecutors exampled included an article by The Washington Post that concluded the President may have inflated his net worth in order to attract potential lenders and insurers to invest in his company and another by The Wall Street Journal on the Congressional testimony delivered by his "fixer" Michael Cohen. Cohen, who detailed the President's involvement in hush-money payouts, also divulged details about how he had committed insurance fraud.
Trump is in deep trouble with the Manhattan DA Grand Jury investigation. “Protracted criminal conduct.” Tax fraud, Bank fraud. No William Barr & no pardons. This is moving bigger and faster than the Trump legal team’s stall strategy can hold off. https://t.co/pjNevBOahn— Tom Joseph (@TomJChicago) August 3, 2020
Trump's lawyers have, of course, denied all wrongdoing. He, on the other hand, claimed the federal inquiry was a "continuation of the worst witch hunt in American history." Referring to the Democratic party, he stated, "It’s a terrible thing that they do. It’s really a terrible thing." The court filing comes after the Supreme Court last month rejected the argument that the President was immune from any investigation due to his executive powers. The panel suggested that he could file a new objection within the lower court in Manhattan, where he first sued in order to stop the subpoena. Vance Jr.'s office thus accused Trump's lawyers of "dragging out" the case in order to prevent him from being criminally investigated. "What the President’s lawyers are seeking here is delay,” Carey R. Dunne, a lawyer in Vance Jr.’s office, stated. "Let’s not let delay kill this case." At present, the case continues to be hung but there is a glimmer of optimism that Trump will have to finally obey the long-due subpoena.
BREAKING: The Manhattan District Attorney is investigating Donald Trump and his companies for fraud, according to their latest filing.— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) August 3, 2020
In other words, if Trump isn’t re-elected he and his family could be headed to prison for a very long time!