The United States Supreme Court on Monday issued an order (22) requiring former President Donald Trump to turn over his tax returns and other financial records to a New York prosecutor, who is conducting a criminal investigation against the former president .
The court order represents a decisive defeat for Trump, who failed in his latest attempt to protect his financial records – Monday’s ruling is in response to a request for secrecy made by lawyers for the Republican on Nov. 7.
The office of Manhattan Democratic Attorney Cyrus Vance has waged a legal battle to demand that Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, obey a subpoena asking for eight-year access to its financial records.
Vance’s investigation, which began over two years ago, reportedly resulted in verification of payments made by the Trump company to buy the silence of two women who said they had sex with the Republican – former actress porn Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump denies the charges.
In testimony to Congress in 2018, former president’s private lawyer Michael Cohen even admitted he paid the two women, but made the payment with his own funds, a month before the election, in a “private transaction” and that it did not involve members of the Republican campaign.
In recent lawsuits, however, the prosecutor has suggested the investigation is now broader than initially announced – including bank fraud, tax evasion and falsification of business records.
Vance cited reports that show the president inflated his net worth and the value of his properties, as well as posts about Cohen’s testimony, in which he also claimed that Trump committed insurance fraud.
Cohen was arrested, convicted of tax evasion and lying in Congress. He was also found guilty of buying the silence of the two women.
In an attempt to reduce his sentence, the lawyer offered investigators information that could compromise Trump and his family, including in the case related to the charge of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential conflict.
The lawyer worked for the Trump organization for a decade and insists that all the acts for which he was convicted happened at the behest of the president.
Unlike all other recent American presidents, Trump has refused, during his four years in office, to make his tax returns public.
Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 to seek Trump’s corporate and personal income tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers have filed a lawsuit to block the subpoena, arguing that in As outgoing president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.
The Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority, including three Trump candidates, had already ruled in July last year that he was not immune from investigation to be president.
Trump’s lawyers then argued in lower courts that the subpoena was too broad and amounted to political harassment, but their claims were dismissed.