MANHATTAN SEEKS GRAND JURY SUBPOENA ON TRUMP’S TAX RECORDS
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Monday (Tuesday, August 4, 2020 in Manila) suggested a grand jury subpoena for US President Donald Trump’s tax returns was part of an investigation of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including alleged insurance and bank fraud. He also seeks to dismiss Trump’s latest challenge to the subpoena for eight years of personal and corporate tax records, Karen Freifeld wrote for Reuters.
In a footnote to Monday’s filing, Vance cited media reports on Trump’s alleged role in the hush-money scheme and on the “unorthodox strategies” he used to expand his real estate empire. He also cited reports of questionable financial statements by Trump, such as when he claimed 55 zoned lots ready for sale at his golf course in Southern California when there were only 31, a 2,000 acre Virginia vineyard that is really only 1,200 acres, and 68 stories at his Trump Tower, 10 higher than the Manhattan property.
Asked about the investigation at a coronavirus press briefing on Monday, Trump repeated that he believed he is the victim of a political “witch hunt,” which he said was “Democrats’ stuff” and started “even before I got in” to office. “There is nothing that I know even about it,” he added.
Trump is scheduled to respond to Vance’s motion to dismiss by Aug. 10. In a court filing last week, Trump’s lawyers argued the subpoena was “wildly overbroad” and issued in “bad faith.” Vance noted in the court papers that when the subpoena was issued last August, there were “public allegations of possible criminal activity” at the Trump Organization dating back a decade. He said public reports show a basis for each category and timeframe of documents sought from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. Trump’s argument that the subpoena is overbroad “rests on the false premise that the grand jury’s investigation is limited to so-called ‘hush-money’ payments made by Michael Cohen” on Trump’s behalf in 2016, Vance said.