The Former US President’s Accountants will now have to provide the financial records he has spent years trying to protect.
The Supreme Court on Monday has rejected the Former President’s final bid to shield his financial records, issuing a brief, unsigned order that ended Mr. Trump’s bitter 18-month battle of stopping the prosecutors in Manhattan from poring over his tax returns as they investigate some possible financial crimes in his documents.
It is termed to be a major failure for Donald Trump, which the Supreme Court has declined to step in to halt the turnover of his tax records. The court’s action was the final windup of a lengthy battle that had reached the high court prior.
Well, having left the White House on January 20th, The Former President lost the legal protections of the office. He faces possibilities of incurring losses and misfortune on multiple fronts.
Since the start, The Former President’s battle to keep his records under wraps has tested his presidential powers’ scope and limits. Last summer, the court also rejected Mr. Donald Trump’s argument that state prosecutors don’t have the right to investigate a sitting president, ruling that no citizen was above “the common duty to produce evidence.” This time, the court refuses Mr. Trump’s request to block a summons for his records, effectively ending the case.
The verdict is also said to be a huge victory for the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., The democrat, is now eligible to access eight years of personal records of Mr. Trump and the other financial records. Mr. Vance’s investigators will now examine whether the former president and his colleagues manipulated any property values to get any bank loan ad tax benefits.
“The work continues,” said Mr. Cyrus Vance in a statement.
Well, Mr. Trump’s tax records were once the forte of US Political and investigative reporting. At the same time, he refused to follow The White House’s common practice releasing his records during his run for president in 2016.
In his statement, Trump commented about the investigation, calling it “a fishing expedition” and “a continuation of the greatest witch-hunt in history.” He added, “For more than two years, New York City has been looking at almost every transaction I’ve ever done, including seeking tax returns which were done by among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S.”
Prosecutors in Manhattan now face a colossal task. A bunch of investigators and forensic accountants will now be sifting through millions of pages of financial documents. Mr. Vance has brought in an outside consulting firm and a former federal prosecutor with profound experience in white-collar and organized crime cases to drill down into the odds of commercial real estate and tax strategies.
The courts’ verdict was sent to Mr. Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA. The firm, in their statement, has said that they will comply with the final ruling of the court, which means that the grand jury should be receiving the documents in a short time. Mazars issued a statement saying, “They remain committed to fulfilling all the professional and legal obligations.”
The next significant phase in Manhattan inquiry shall soon begin when the investigators collect the vast treasure of digital records from a law firm representing Mazars. Armed with the summons, the investigators will go to the law firm office in Westchester County outside New York City. They will be taking away the copies of tax returns, financial statements, and other records, as well as communications relating to Mr. Trump’s taxes and business.
Everything About Mr. Trump’s Inquiry
The inquiry started in 2018, initially examined hush-money payments to two women, who said that they had an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. The former president denied the relationship. But it has since grown, including potential crimes, bank frauds, tax frauds, etc.
The Mazars records may allow the investigators to see a wider picture of potential frauds between the company and the tax authorities.
Well, as of now, it remains unclear whether the prosecutors will file charges against Mr. Trump or on any of its executives, including Trump’s two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.
The court’s order will not publicize Mr. Trump’s tax returns. The Grand jury secrecy laws will keep the records private unless Mr. Vance’s office files charges against Mr. Trump and enters the documents into evidence at a trial.
Last year, a renowned portal published a series of investigative articles that showcased that Mr. Trump had paid NO income tax for many years and was under an audit. It has also been seen that he and his companies file separate tax returns and employ complex and aggressive tax strategies.
As a candidate in 2016, Mr. Donald Trump promised to disclose his tax returns, but he never did, breaking with White House tradition. Instead, he fought hard to protect his returns from scrutiny.
While in 2019, Mr. Trump went to court to fight against the summons, arguing that being a president, he was immune from criminal investigation. The New York Court ruled against that argument and said that state prosecutors might require third parties to inquire about the sitting president’s financial records.
Mr. Trump then appealed to the Supreme Court. In July 2020, the justices soundly denied Mr. Trump’s central constitutional argument against the summons in a remarkable verdict.