New York prosecutors subpoena Trump’s tax returns in hush-money probe | TribLIVE.com
Politics Election

New York prosecutors subpoena Trump’s tax returns in hush-money probe

Associated Press
1682476_web1_1682476-651bf6654f9b4c659887a9d20350ceab
AP
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore. New York City prosecutors have subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns, a person familiar with the matter said Monday, Sept. 16. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

NEW YORK — New York City prosecutors have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s tax returns, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

Manhattan District Attorney’s Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office recently sent a subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm seeking the last eight years of state and federal tax returns for Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, the person said.

The person was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Asked about the subpoena as he left the White House on Monday, Trump said: “I don’t know anything about it.” A lawyer for the Trump Organization, Marc Mukasey, said he is “evaluating the situation and will respond as appropriate.”

Vance, a Democrat, subpoenaed the Trump Organization last month for records related to payments Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, helped arrange to a porn actress who claimed she had an affair with Trump. His office is also pursuing a state mortgage fraud case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Vance’s office declined to comment Monday on the tax returns subpoena, the news of which was first reported by The New York Times.

Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, said in a statement that it “will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.”

Mazars was subpoenaed earlier this yearby a House committee seeking Trump financial records. The firm said it believes strongly in ethical and professional rules governing the accounting industry and does not comment on work it does for clients.

Trump, a Republican, is already fighting efforts by several Democratic-led Congressional committees to obtain his tax returns and other records that could give them a window into his finances.

Trump and three of his children filed a lawsuit in April seeking to block two House committees from getting records that his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank, has said includes tax returns. A federal appeals court indicated last month that it would take a hard look at the legality of the subpoenas after Trump’s lawyers argued the House committee subpoenas were overly broad and unconstitutional.

In July, Trump sued to block the application of a new state law in New York that could allow a third House committee to obtain his state tax returns. In April, he and his company sued the chairman of the House oversight committee to block a subpoena issued to Mazars seeking financial statements, accounting records and other documents covering 2011 to 2018.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether Trump exaggerated his wealth to obtain loans. She issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank in March seeking loan applications and other records related to Trump real estate projects and his failed 2014 bid to buy the Buffalo Bills.

Vance’s investigation appears to be covering some of the same ground as two federal probes.

Federal prosecutors in New York and Washington, who spent months probing payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to two women who said they had affairs with Trump, Daniels and model Karen McDougal.

Cohen, who made one of the payments himself and arranged for American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, to pay the other, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and other crimes and is serving a three-year sentence at a federal prison in upstate New York.

A lawyer for Cohen declined to comment on Vance’s subpoenas.

Trump, who denies any sexual relationship with either woman, has said any payments were a personal matter, not a campaign expense.

The U.S. attorney’s office in New York informed a court last month that it was finished investigating the payments. No one besides Cohen was charged, though prosecutors said in public court filings that Trump himself was aware of and directed the payments.

The Trump Organization also reimbursed Cohen for money he paid to Daniels. Cohen has argued that organization officials disguised the true nature of the payments and that it is unfair he is the only one prosecuted.

The federal inquiry looked at whether campaign finance laws were broken.

The New York Times reported, citing “people briefed on the matter,” that Vance’s inquiry involves an examination of whether anyone at the Trump Organization falsified business records by falsely listing the reimbursements to Cohen as a legal expense.

Falsifying business records can be a crime under state law.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.