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The US Supreme Court has rejected Donald Trump’s attempts to keep his tax returns secret from the Manhattan District Attorney, intensifying the possibility that the former president will be subject to criminal prosecution.
The Supreme Court rejected Trump’s plea Monday after stalling a decision for nearly four months. None of the justices provided any comment in issuing the decision.
“The work continues,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement.
Vance has gone to great lengths to investigate Trump’s finances, going twice to the Supreme Court to ensure his office could review his returns and present them to a grand jury.
The investigation was initially triggered by the February 2019 congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, formerly Trump’s personal lawyer and an executive of the Trump Organization, who said he facilitated payments on Trump’s behalf to hush up Stormy Daniels, a woman who claims to have had an affair with Trump. Vance is reportedly looking into whether such payments violated the law, as well as whether Trump and the Trump Organization kept two sets of books for finances — one for seeking favorable loan terms and another to pay low tax rates.
In July 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that Vance could seek Trump’s tax returns, but allowed room for Trump to make objections to the particulars of Vance’s subpoena. The Supreme Court has now dismissed the newer procedural arguments Trump’s attorneys raised.
The ruling does not mean the tax returns used for the investigation will become available to the public. Grand jury materials must remain secret under New York state law but could become public if the Manhattan District Attorney’s office includes them as evidence in an indictment or as evidence if the case goes to trial.
The Vance investigation into Trump’s finances has intensified since the former president left office. In recent weeks, Vance has subpoenaed New York City’s property tax agency and hired a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation.
Vance’s investigation is running parallel to a separate one overseen by New York State Attorney General Letitia James, which is also looking into whether Trump kept two sets of books and whether his family business misrepresented assets to pay less in taxes.
The New York investigations are among the numerous perilous legal challenges the president faces, including investigations into his conduct as president, potential financial crimes committed through his inaugural organizing committee, his involvement in the January 6 insurrection, and lawsuits over sexual assault accusations.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics
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