The Manhattan district-attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it’s been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged within the past.
The office of the district-attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr, made the disclosure in a very new tribunal filing arguing that Trump should adjust to its subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and company tax returns. Trump has asked a judge to declare the subpoena invalid.
The prosecutors didn’t directly identify the main target of their inquiry but said that “undisputed” news reports last year about Trump’s business practices make it clear that the office had a legal basis for the subpoena.
The reports, including investigations into the President’s wealth and a commentary on the congressional testimony of his former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, said that the President may have illegally inflated his net worth and therefore the value of his properties to lenders and insurers. Lawyers for Trump have said he did nothing wrong.
The clash over the subpoena comes but a month after the Supreme Court, in a very major ruling on the bounds of presidential power, cleared the way for Vance’s prosecutors to hunt Trump’s financial records.
The filing from prosecutors came in response to an argument Trump made last week, calling the subpoena from Vance, a Democrat, “wildly overboard” and issued in bad faith. Vance’s office subpoenaed Trump’s firm, Mazars USA, in August 2019 for the tax returns as a part of its investigation, which hitherto was believed to be focused on hush-money payments made to 2 women who said that they had affairs with Trump, including the adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Cohen arranged the payments to Daniels and therefore the other woman, Karen McDougal. Vance’s office has been looking into whether any the big apple state laws were broken when those payments were made. Trump has fought the subpoena for nearly a year, initially arguing that as a sitting President, he was immune from state criminal investigation.
Trump’s position was soundly rejected by the Supreme Court last month, but it said he could return to the inferior court in Manhattan, where he first sued to dam the subpoena, and lift new arguments.
In a recent hearing, Vance’s office told the judge, Victor Marrero of the administrative district Court, that Trump was just dragging out the legal fight so as to effectively shield himself from criminal investigation.