NY District Attorney Reveals Potential Trump Criminal Investigation


Since early in the candidacy of Donald Trump, allegations about shady business deals and money management that is less than scrupulous have surrounded him. On Monday, District Attorney Cy Vance from the southern district of New York entered court filings that indicate that criminal proceedings may indeed come for the president.

While investigating Trump for campaign finance violations related to a hush money payment made to adult film star and director Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, allegations of tax fraud were raised by different individuals involved in the investigation. Trump’s former attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen said in court that Trump regularly inflated the price of his properties in bank filings for loans, but devalued them at tax time. If true, that constitutes a crime: tax fraud.

According to The New York Times:

‘The Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has been locked in a yearlong legal battle with President Trump over obtaining his tax returns, suggested for the first time in a court filing on Monday that it had grounds to investigate him and his businesses for tax fraud.

‘The filing by the office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., offered rare insight into the office’s investigation of the president and his business dealings, which began more than two years ago.’

Attorneys for the president argued that the scope of Vance’s investigation was too broad and that it amounted to no more than a political hit job. Vance’s filing explains why the scope needs to be what it is now, and one of the reasons is that the district attorney’s office is looking at Trump’s financial records and tax returns – returns he has refused to release although every president in modern history has done so – for tax fraud.

‘Prosecutors listed news reports and public testimony that alleged misconduct by Mr. Trump and his businesses. The reports, prosecutors wrote, would justify a grand jury inquiry into a range of possible crimes, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records. It was the first time the office had suggested tax fraud might be among the possible areas of investigation.

‘“Even if the grand jury were testing the truth of public allegations alone, such reports, taken together, fully justify the scope of the grand jury subpoena at issue in this case,” prosecutors wrote.’

While it will likely be some time before any criminal charges can be issued, and certainly not in time for the election, the issue is likely to be brought up during the 2020 election season. With Trump lagging badly behind his opponent, Joe Biden, it’s one more scandal for the president to spin and lie about when he already has plenty to keep him busy.

‘The president has said he expects the dispute over the subpoena will end up in the Supreme Court. “This is a continuation of the witch hunt, the greatest witch hunt in history,” Mr. Trump said last month.

‘The conflict began when Mr. Vance’s prosecutors issued the grand jury subpoena to Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, seeking the tax returns and other financial records.’