As Manhattan authorities continue to pursue President Donald Trump’s financial records, they have revealed in a new court filing that they are looking at “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization” — which does not exactly sound great for the president. Specifically, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has subpoenaed financial records for the president, including his tax returns, from his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA. Trump has consistently fought the subpoena, but he recently lost at the Supreme Court, which ruled that he had no special freedom to ignore the subpoena just because he’s the president. The Trump side has continued to fight against the subpoena with other — still dubious, at best — arguments.
Specifically, Trump’s side has claimed that the Manhattan DA’s subpoena “is not a straightforward request to review specific business transitions.” Instead, they claim:
‘[It] is an overreaching demand designed to pick apart the President and each related entity from the inside out, without regard to the geographic limits of the District Attorney’s jurisdiction or the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.’
The District Attorney’s office outlines how this claim of some kind of investigative overreach is simply not true. In a Monday court filing, Vance’s office cited three widely available media stories about the president’s apparent financial misconduct and said:
‘In light of these public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization, there was nothing facially improper (or even particularly unusual) about the Mazars Subpoena, which [was] issued in connection with a complex financial investigation, requesting eight years of records from an accounting firm.’
Specifically, Vance’s office cited reports including a 2019 Washington Post story about how Trump had lied about his personal net worth when negotiating with potential sources for business funding, a 2018 New York Times story about the “dubious tax schemes” including “outright fraud” that Trump has engaged in, and a Wall Street Journal story revealing the infamous hush money scheme targeting women with whom Trump had affairs. As part of that hush money scheme, the Trump Organization falsified some of its financial records to hide the fact that Michael Cohen, the president’s former longtime fixer, was getting reimbursed for some of the hush money.
In the face of all this evidence of the president’s apparent financial misconduct, Vance’s office had little patience for the president’s team’s consistent fights against their subpoena. Referring to Trump, Vance’s office said in their Monday court filing:
‘Plaintiff’s baseless [complaint] merely serves to delay the grand jury’s investigation. Every day that goes by is another day Plaintiff effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.’
Trump has claimed that investigations into him and his team are “witch hunts,” but there’s no evidence to support his claims that he’s being somehow unfairly persecuted. On the flip side, there is plenty of evidence outlining the misconduct that the investigators across state and federal government have been looking into.
No matter Trump’s consistent claim of a witch hunt, a number of his associates have faced very real criminal charges.