Manhattan DA investigates ‘escalating’ Trump: New York Times
While most of the past month has been focused on the president Donald trump legal challenges to the 2020 election, the New York Times reported Friday on Trump’s potential legal danger. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has reportedly “dramatically stepped up” its criminal investigation into the president and his private company, after recently interviewing Deutsche Bank employees and employees with insurance broker Aon.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance (D) has long tried to get his hands on President Trump’s tax returns, fighting in the Supreme Court and then again in the Supreme Court. Vance previously argued in an appeal brief that he should be able to obtain the documents via a subpoena from a third party – namely, Trump’s finance company Mazars USA LLP – because reports of press indicate that an investigation of “criminal tax fraud” is warranted.
The brief filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in September cited reports by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times to provide a “snapshot” to the court of the Trump organization’s “financial irregularities” that “could potentially violate New York law.” These articles covered everything related to Trump’s role in silent payments Michael cohen paid ahead of the 2016 election for allegations Trump inflated his net worth with lenders and investors.
“These reports identified transactions spanning more than a decade, involving individual and corporate players based in New York County,” the brief said.
The Manhattan DA’s office said any “inaccuracies” to “insurers” and “potential lenders” could “establish crimes in New York,” possibly criminal tax evasion:
As noted below, these reports place sufficient notice on the public record to make the [Second Amended Complaint’s] claims implausible. In particular, if any inaccuracies about commercial properties, wherever located, were forwarded from that company’s head office in New York to business partners, insurers, potential lenders or tax authorities based in New York, these inaccuracies could establish crimes in New York such as Scheme to Defraud. (Criminal law § 190.65), falsification of business records (criminal law § 175.10), insurance fraud (criminal law §§ 176.15-176.30) and criminal tax fraud (tax law §§ 1803-1806), among others.
the Time reported Friday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had interviewed insurance brokerage employees and lenders:
Manhattan state prosecutors have questioned several employees of President Trump’s bank and insurance broker in recent weeks, people with knowledge of the case say, dramatically stepping up an investigation into the president he is powerless to stop .
Interviews with people who work for the lender, Deutsche Bank, and insurance brokerage firm, Aon, are the latest indication that once Mr. Trump leaves office, he still faces the potential threat of criminal charges that would be beyond the reach of federal pardons. .
While much attention has been paid to the subject of possible preventative self-forgiveness, President Trump’s power of pardon does not extend to state crimes.
Trump called Vance’s investigation a political “witch hunt” and fishing expedition. Vance’s office argued in the appeal brief that President Trump cannot simply state broadly that he is a president under political attack to remove the subpoena for his tax returns.
“In substance, the Appellant submits (App. Br. 34-36) that he must be allowed to proceed with his speculative bad faith allegations, however implausible they may be, because he is the President. . This is not the law, and this is not how Rule 12 (b) (6) works, ”the brief states. “To survive a motion to dismiss, he must make ‘credible and detailed allegations’ of bad faith that could plausibly overcome the presumption of validity attached to summonses to appear before the grand jury.”
“Through this lens, this case is simple. Neither the fact that the grand jury issued the Trump Organization’s narrower subpoena before issuing the Mazars subpoena, nor the fact that the Mazars subpoena reflects a congressional subpoena, reveals or allows the court to draw a reasonable inference that the Bureau acted in bad faith, ”The filing continued.
Vance’s subpoena stems from the prosecutor grand jury investigation in progress on the legality of silent payments made before the 2016 election, as well as the aforementioned allegations of bank fraud and insurance fraud. Previously a New York District Court judge rejected Trump’s second attempt to block the execution of the subpoena against his personal accounting firm Mazars USA LLP, saying the president only reaffirmed the “absolute immunity” argument that had already been rejected by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court ruled in July that the president was not absolutely immune from state criminal proceedings. After further disputes in lower courts in the months that followed, the president and his lawyers asked the question before the Supreme Court once again.
[Image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images, ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images]
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]