Trump Loses Bid To Keep Tax Records Private
The United States Supreme Court has denied Donald Trump’s request to keep his tax records from the Manhattan district attorney.
The former president must turn over his tax records for the last eight years to New York state prosecutors as part of a criminal investigation.
However, Mr Trump’s tax records are not supposed to become public as part of the investigation.
Trump has previously accused prosecutors of going on a “fishing expedition”with his records, which he calls “a continuation of the witch hunt; the greatest witch hunt in history”.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., has been seeking Mr Trump’s tax records since 2019. He has not revealed what prompted the investigation.
The last of the written briefs in the case was filed on October 19, so the decision has taken months. The Supreme Court have not revealed why the judgement took so long.
The investigation is looking into payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. The payments were meant to stop them discussing alleged extramarital affairs with Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied the affairs.
In one court filing last year, prosecutors justified their demand for the records because of public reports of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”
Mr Vance, a Democrat, had subpoenaed the records from the Mazars accounting firm. Mazars managed Trump’s finances. The accounting firm said it would comply with the subpoena, but Trump sued to block the release of the records.
Stepping up investigation
In July, the justices in a 7-2 ruling rejected Trump’s argument that the president is immune from investigation while he holds office.
Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, whom Trump nominated to the high court, joined that decision. It was issued before Trump’s third nominee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, replaced the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court.
As part of its July decision, the high court returned the Vance case and a similar case involving records sought by Congress to lower courts. And the court prevented the records from being turned over while the cases proceeded.
Manhattan DA Vance has stepped up his investigation in recent weeks. He has hired Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He led the case against Mafia don John Gotti, so it seems the investigation is in good hands.
The damaging ruling against Trump comes just days before his conservative conference CPAC. People have widely seen the upcoming appearance as the beginning of his political comeback.
However, the justices rejected a plea from Stormy Daniels to overturn a ruling that she could not sue Trump for defamation for tweeting that she was a “con job”. This was one small win for the ex-president.
Image via Alamy.