New York State Prosecutor Terrifies Trump Family With Post-Election Move

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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, a New York state prosecutor, has recently amped up his criminal investigation into the president and his company, according to The New York Times. The publication reports that Vance’s office has interviewed “several” individuals who work for Deutsche Bank and the insurance company Aon, both of which have done significant business with Trump and his family business over the years. “Some” recent questioning of witnesses has proceeded in front of a grand jury, according to the publication, although whether Vance will decide to bring criminal charges against individuals — including the president — involved in the matters under investigation is an open question.

Aon and Deutsche Bank have both indicated that they’ve cooperated with Vance’s investigation, including subpoenas for documents from both companies. In the case of Deutsche Bank witnesses, Vance’s office “questioned two Deutsche Bank employees about the bank’s procedures for making lending decisions,” according to the Times. Apparently, the individuals had not worked directly with the Trump Organization, but they provided an expert overview of the bank’s general operating procedures. “[Bank] officials expect Mr. Vance’s office to summon them for additional rounds of more specific questions in the near future,” the Times says, based on the testimony of an anonymous source.

Vance is investigating potential financial crimes, although not many overly precise details have emerged. The potential crimes under potential investigation include insurance, bank, and tax fraud. Trump allegedly adjusted valuations of his assets in order to secure financial benefits for himself, like lower taxes. The Times says that the grand jury “appears to be serving an investigative function, allowing prosecutors to authenticate documents and pursue other leads, rather than considering any charges.” Separately, the publication has reported that Trump has discussed the possibility of issuing preemptive pardons for his family members, but presidential pardons don’t cover state-level issues, meaning that Trump is “powerless” to stop Vance’s investigation, as the Times notes.

Over the years of its financial relationship with the Trump Organization, Deutsche Bank loaned the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Besides this area, Vance has also been looking into millions of dollars in so-called consulting fees that the Trump Organization claimed as tax write-offs. Some of the fees appear to have been paid out to Ivanka Trump herself.

As part of his investigation, Vance has been seeking Trump’s financial records including his tax returns, and a court case in which Trump is trying to block Vance’s subpoena for the documents is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, marking the second time that the court has faced the proceedings. Last time, the court ruled largely against Trump, concluding that the argument that he presented — claiming that he should be automatically exempt from the subpoena because of his status as president — was bunk.

Besides Vance, New York state Attorney General Letitia James has also been conducting a civil investigation into the Trump Organization. Trump and his allies have ranted against the New York investigations, insinuating that they’re politically motivated, although evidence is evidence, no matter whose conduct is covered.