The main threat hanging over Donald Trump’s legal horizon, after losing presidential immunity, is the huge and extensive investigation that Cyrus Vance leads in the Manhattan prosecutor’s office. On Monday, the former president suffered a major defeat in this case because the Supreme Court rejected his lawyers’ last attempt to hide his financial history: Trump accountants will have to hand in their tax returns and other documents requested by the District Attorney’s Office. New York. The investigation had been stalled for four months because of Trump’s refusal to disclose the information. Prosecutor Vance celebrated the Supreme Court’s resolution with a three-word tweet: “The work continues.”
The exact scope of the prosecution’s investigations remains a mystery, as they are protected by the secrecy of the grand jury procedure. Within the set of court cases hanging over Trump after leaving the presidency, that of prosecutor Vance constitutes the only criminal investigation opened against him today. It started with the investigation into the alleged payments to two women, presumably declared as legal expenses during the 2016 presidential campaign, lest they talk about the sexual relations they claimed to have had with the then aspiring president. But the investigation grew, and in documenting this battle to obtain Trump’s income tax returns, Vance’s team spoke of “extensive and prolonged criminal conduct in the Trump Organization” and suggested that it investigates several potential financial, fraud and tax evasion and bank fraud insurance.
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“This investigation is the continuation of the largest political witch hunt in the history of our country,” Donald Trump said in a statement after the Supreme Court resolution was released. “I will continue to fight, as I did for the past five years, even before I was elected, despite all the electoral crimes that were committed against me. We will win! ”
The prosecution had asked Trump’s accountants more than a year ago for information about his finances since 2011. The Supreme Court rejected in July last year the argument that prosecutors could not investigate an incumbent president. But he indicated to Trump that he could try to challenge the request by claiming the same protections that any citizen has against acts of bad faith. This was done by the president’s legal team, but his arguments were rejected at first and second instance. Then they turned to the Supreme Court, who again gave the case to prosecutor Vance.
During his first presidential campaign in 2016, Trump promised that he would make his tax returns public. Instead, once in the White House he fought by all means to keep this information from being made public. Under the secrecy of the grand jury, it is not clear that the fact that the documents are delivered to the Public Prosecutor’s Office necessarily implies that the public can see them. But while the battle was being fought in the courts, The New York Times published a series of exclusive reports after obtaining two decades of Trump tax returns, which revealed that his income tax returns led him to not pay in 11 of the last 18 years and that he only paid $ 750, both in 2016 and in 2017.