- Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s office asked a judge for eight years of President Donald Trump’s tax records on grounds of media reports claiming “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” the Associated Press reported.
- Vance cited newspaper articles that allege potential criminal activity by Trump and his organization.
- Trump claimed the subpoena was a “witch hunt” during a press briefing on Monday.
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A New York City prosecutor told a judge he wanted access to eight years of President Donald Trump’s tax records citing multiple media reports that suggest “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” the Associated Press reported.
The New York Times reported that the filing from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s office suggests that there is a “broader inquiry” into the Trump Organization.
Vance did not specify what specifically prompted him to seek the tax record but cited several newspaper articles: One of the articles cited was a Washington Post story that claimed Trump may have illegally inflated the value of his properties and his net worth to lenders. Another article cited came from the Wall Street Journal, which said that in a hearing, Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen claimed the president would deflate the value of his property for taxes.
“These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” Vance said, according to the AP.
According to The Times, lawyers for Trump claimed there was no wrongdoing.
According to the AP, attorneys in Vance’s office said Trump did not need to know the “exact nature of the grand jury probe, which they called a ‘complex financial investigation.'”
The district attorney’s office had investigated hush-money payoffs to two women prior to the 2016 election, The Times reported. Cohen pleaded guilty to charges related to the payments and is serving the remaining two years of his three-year sentence in home confinement.
Trump called the investigation a “witch hunt” during a press briefing on Monday.
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s lawyers had previously argued that the subpoena is illegal. In August 2019, Vance’s office subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. In that case, Trump’s lawyers argued that as a sitting president, he couldn’t be investigated, however, Vance’s office claimed their argument was just a means to stop the investigation from continuing.
The Supreme Court last month said Trump was not protected from investigation by presidential immunity.
“Every day that goes by is another day [Trump] effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court,” Carey Dunne, general counsel in Vance’s office told The Post.