New York prosecutors are coming after President Donald Trump’s tax returns, issuing a subpoena demanding that the president’s account firm turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns, the New York Times reports.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office demanded the documents last month, shortly after it started a criminal investigation into hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels in order to buy her silence about her affair with the president, an affair the president has denied.
According to those with knowledge of the investigation, state prosecutors have demanded Trump’s personal returns, as well as the returns from Trump Organization dating back to 2011 from accounting firm Mazars USA.
The Times noted that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is zeroing in on the $130,000 that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, paid Daniels prior to the election. Both Trump and the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen for that money.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in December for lying to Congress and for other various counts of tax fraud and campaign finance violations.
And, according to the Times, although federal prosecutors claimed that they had “effectively concluded” their investigation into possible crimes committed by Trump Organization or its officials, Vance is now determined to see if any of the reimbursements issued violated New York state laws—more specifically, if the reimbursement was falsely classified as a legal expense.
The fight for Trump’s tax returns has been a long and drawn out one. As the Times notes, Democrats have been trying to get a hand on the phantom documents for years, which hasn’t been an issue with any other modern presidential nominee until 45 himself.
Democrats in Congress have issued their own subpoena, demanding six years of Trump’s tax returns from not only the Treasury Department but from Deutsche Bank, Captial One, and Mazars USA as well.
Alas, Trump has continued to hold his taxes out of reach, challenging the subpoenas in federal court. The president also filed a lawsuit to block a recently-passed New York state law which gave state officials the right to hand over his tax returns in response to certain congressional inquiries.
By tangling the taxes in a court case, Trump and his team have made it difficult for Democrats to get a chance to review his finances before the next election, the Times reports.
How his luck with fare by warding off a subpoena in a criminal investigation is left to be seen. But, even if the district attorney’s office gets a hand on the records, due to the various rules that grand juries abide by, it is unlikely they will be privy to the public, unless they are submitted as evidence in a criminal case, the Times notes.