The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to prevent the New York grand jury from obtaining President Donald Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. This was his decisive defeat in a long legal battle that kept his tax records from investigators. control.
The ruling does not mean that returns will be made public in the short term, and may never be made public. According to state law, the materials transferred to the grand jury must be kept confidential. But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can now ask Trump’s accountants to hand over the president’s unwavering refusal to surrender to the prosecutor or Congress.
In response to the Supreme Court’s order, Vance said: “The work continues.”
Trump issued a lengthy statement condemning the order because it was a continuation of a politically motivated witch hunt and vowed to “continue fighting.”
The statement said: “The Supreme Court should never allow this kind of “fishing expedition” to happen, but they did it.” “This is something the president has never happened before. It was all inspired by the Democrats, and it was entirely in New York City and New York. A place in the state that is completely controlled by the Democrats is completely controlled and controlled by one of my enemies-Governor Andrew Cuomo.”
Vance is seeking an eight-year tax return to conduct a jury investigation of secret payments and other financial transactions. The investigation started after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to silence the claim that he had an affair with Trump, the former president Denied the allegation.
Cohen also declared to Congress that the Trump Organization sometimes lied about its financial situation in order to avoid taxes or obtain favorable loan terms.
In July, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s claim that he was not affected by any part of the criminal justice system, including grand jury investigations. This claim was untenable. But the decision said that he could go back to the lower court and offer the same argument to anyone trying to defeat the subpoena.
A month later, a federal judge in New York ruled on Trump’s renewed efforts to abolish the subpoena, saying that the legal attack was just a repackaged version of his original exemption argument. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the ruling.
Trump’s legal team stated that the subpoena was too broad and harassed him out of malice. They said that if Vance only looked at Cohen’s payments, it would not explain why Vance simply copied the broader subpoena issued by the Congressional committee.
They told the Supreme Court that the first subpoena issued by a state for the record of the incumbent president should be appropriately adjusted.
His lawyer told the Supreme Court, “It has almost unlimited arrival time, range, and geographic range, with all the characteristics of a fishing expedition.” “Moreover, when the tension between the Trump Organization and the district attorney increased, the subpoena passed to The third party custodian, and for dubious reasons of efficiency, makes the allegations of malicious intent more reasonable.”
But in recent court documents, Vance suggested that his scope of work may include more than just silent payments.
Vance told the Court of Appeals: “The investigation involves a variety of commercial transactions and is based on information obtained from public sources, confidential informants, and jury procedures,” which may include forged business records, insurance fraud, and tax fraud. .
Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for Vance to execute the subpoena, the president has exhausted legal means to stop the subpoena. The complete tax return file or part of it will only be made public when Vance files a criminal charge at a future date and seeks to use it as evidence.
Trump’s long-term accounting firm, Mazars USA, said it is aware of the Supreme Court’s order and “remains committed to fulfilling all our professional and legal obligations.”
The company added that it could not publicly discuss the services it provides to customers without their consent or legal requirements.
Tom Winter Contributed.