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Trump blocked New York prosecutor’s tax records in Supreme Court appeal



U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a speech to reporters on the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election at a Brady press conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 5, 2020.

Carlos Barea | Reuters

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected former President Donald Trump’s last bid to preserve his financial records, including his years of tax returns, and hand it over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

This decision is the second time that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block jury subpoenas for these classified records. The decision was announced without any objections.

The news further endangered the former president, who is facing investigations in New York and other places.

The legal battle over Trump̵

7;s financial records (including personal and business documents dating back to 2011) is related to an investigation by the Vance office of potential tax violations.

According to reports, the district attorney is also reviewing the boos paid on behalf of Trump to two women who said he was involved. Trump denied their claims.

Although Vance’s investigation initially appeared to be directed at this matter, court records and news reports indicate that prosecutors are now reviewing more serious allegations.

A document submitted to the court by Vance last summer indicated that the investigation may be focusing on “insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officials.” A month later, prosecutors suggested in another document that they may be investigating Trump’s potential tax crimes.

Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress in 2019 that Trump inappropriately exaggerated and devalued the value of his real estate assets for tax and insurance purposes.

The Vance document appears to be quoting Cohen’s testimony. A document by the prosecutor quoted a report in the New York Times as saying that Trump “engaged in suspicious taxation plans in the 1990s, including outright fraud.”

At the end of 2020, Vance investigators requested records from three towns in Westchester County, New York, as part of the investigation. These records are related to Trump’s 213-acre site in Qiquan Village.

The property is one of the Trump properties that New York Attorney General Letitia James (Letitia James) is concerned about. This is a question of whether the Trump Organization inappropriately exaggerates and devalues ​​certain properties in order to obtain economic benefits from it. Part of the civil investigation.

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that Vance’s office is also paying attention to Trump’s loans on Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and three other properties in Manhattan: Wall Street 40, Trump Plaza Apartment Building and Special Lampe International Hotel and Building.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Vance wrote: “Work is still going on.”

The combined photo shows the adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (Stephanie Clifford) and US President Donald Trump (Donald Trump) speaking in New York City on April 16, 2018 and April 28, 2018, respectively. Speech in Washington, Michigan, USA.

Reuters

Vance spokesperson Danny Frost (Danny Frost) said the office would not comment again, but said it would act quickly to issue a subpoena against the president’s long-term accounting firm Mazars USA.

A representative of the former president did not immediately return a request for comment.

Cohen said in a statement: “The Supreme Court has now declared that no one can go beyond the law. Trump will be responsible for his dirty behavior for the first time.”

The ruling came three days after the New York Times reported that the Vance office had hired former federal prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to conduct the Trump investigation.

Just two days after Reuters reported that Vance’s office issued a subpoena to the New York Tax Commission.

People familiar with the municipal agency told the media that they hope that the subpoena will require the Trump company to submit income and expenditure statements as part of the requirement to reduce the tax assessment of commercial real estate. The lower the appraised value of the property, the less property tax the owner will pay.

Joseph Tacopina, a leading criminal defense lawyer in New York, told CNBC last week that Vance had been seeking tax records, which showed his firm belief that he would show criminal behavior.

Tacopina said: “The Cy Vance fight is so fierce that the case no longer exists.” “He seems to be doing something.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday was separate: “The application for a stay with Justice Breyer was rejected.”

The frontline order is in stark contrast to the last time the Supreme Court weighed in on the dispute between Vance and Trump, who was still the president.

In July, the Supreme Court defeated Trump 7-2 in the opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump argued at the time that as president, he was not affected by state criminal investigations.

Roberts believes that this exemption does not exist.

“In our judicial system, the public has the right to obtain evidence from everyone.” Since the establishment of the Republic, “everyone” has included the President of the United States.”

But the court said that Trump can still challenge his execution of the subpoena in other ways.

In October, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals again rejected Trump’s argument. Later that month, Trump’s lawyers again asked the Supreme Court to intervene.

When the election between Trump and the incoming President Joe Biden heated up, the court remained silent on the October petition, which some people believed indicated that the judges did not want to participate in the political drama between the two men.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.


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