Manhattan DA Says Trump Could Be Investigated For Tax Fraud
The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested for the first time in a Monday court filing that it has grounds to investigate President Trump and his businesses for tax fraud, The New York Times reports.
- District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office has engaged in a yearlong battle with Trump over the president’s tax returns, though Vance’s investigation of Trump’s business dealings began more than two years ago.
The investigation has been stalled by the fight over a subpoena that the office issued in August 2019 for eight years of the president’s tax returns.
- Trump’s attorneys have argued that the subpoena is politically motivated and “wildly broad.”
- Vance responded tactfully in a new filing, not directly accusing Trump or any of his businesses of wrongdoing; however, prosecutors pointed to news reports and public testimony alleging misconduct by the president and his businesses as justification for a grand jury inquiry.
The reports, prosecutors wrote, would justify a grand jury inquiry into a range of possible crimes, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records.
"Even if the grand jury were testing the truth of public allegations alone, such reports, taken together, fully justify the scope of the grand jury subpoena at issue in this case," prosecutors wrote.
- Trump initially sued to block the subpoena, arguing that he has blanket immunity from any criminal investigation as a sitting president. The argument was dismissed, and Trump appealed.
- The issue reached the Supreme Court in July, resulting in a landmark ruling against Trump.
"No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority.
- Trump was sent back to the lower courts, where his attorneys argued that the subpoena is “so sweeping that it amounts to an unguided and unlawful fishing expedition.”
- U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero also dismissed this argument, noting that Trump’s lengthy legal battle could allow the statute of limitations to expire on possible crimes, effectively granting him the immunity denied to him by the Supreme Court.
- Trump is currently appealing that decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. His lawyers have described Marrero’s opinion as “flawed from start to finish,” The Times wrote, and accused the judge of “stacking the deck” against Trump.