NEW YORK.- The United States Supreme Court on Monday denied Donald Trump’s final request to prevent his tax returns from being delivered to a New York prosecutor. The ruling ends a lengthy legal battle to prevent Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance from accessing Trump’s tax records, and is a major blow to the former president who has spared no effort to keep them hidden for years.
The highest court did not give details on how the magistrates voted and referred to the publication of the decision. « The work continues, » Vance said in a brief statement after the ruling was published.
In July, the Supreme Court had already considered justified the request of prosecutor Vance, a Democrat who claims from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, the former president’s taxes from 2011 to 2018. But Trump’s lawyers appealed the decision.
This time, however, the ruling is final. Mazars has indicated in the past that it would abide by the Supreme Court ruling.
During his election campaign, Trump promised to publish his tax returns, but never did. He was the first president since Richard Nixon who refused to release his tax returns..
As Vance’s investigation is based on a decision made by a grand jury whose deliberations are secret, no one knows exactly what the prosecutor is looking for in those tax documents that he requests from the Mazars law firm. Initially, the investigation focused on a payment made to the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels and to another alleged Trump lover to buy his silence, in violation of the US electoral financing law.
But the prosecution later hinted that the investigation could be broader and extend to « Possible criminal behavior within the Trump Organization », the company that regroups the former real estate mogul’s and unlisted businesses, such as tax and insurance fraud.
Former President Trump did not immediately react to the Supreme Court ruling. In the past, he has said that he is the subject of « a witch hunt. »
According to the US press, the prosecution investigators recently questioned employees of Deutsche Bank, Trump’s financial supporter and his holding company for years, as well as employees of his insurance company, Aon. They also interviewed Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is serving house arrest. Cohen told Congress that Trump and his company artificially inflated or reduced the value of their assets to obtain bank loans or reduce taxes.
The Mar-a-Lago complex of former President Donald Trump where he resides after leaving the White House on February 13, 2021 in Palm Beach, Florida Jack Raedle – .
If the suspicions are confirmed and Trump is indicted, the case could culminate in the imprisonment of the former president New Yorker, who resides at his golf club in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, since he left the White House on January 20.
« 200 years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to present evidence when requested in criminal proceedings« Said Chief Justice John Roberts in the first ruling last July.
Trump also tried to appeal the Supreme Court ruling to a federal appeals court in New York State by claiming that Vance is acting « in bad faith, » but in August his arguments were rejected.
Contrary to what happens with federal crimes, state crimes cannot receive a presidential amnesty, if Joe biden I would like to do it to unify the country.
An investigation by The New York Times that obtained information on two decades of taxes from Trump and his companies revealed in September that The former president has suffered heavy losses, has large debts and has avoided paying federal income taxes in 11 of the 18 years examined. In 2016 and 2017, he paid just $ 750 in taxes, according to the Times.
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, speaks to the press after the Senate voted to acquit former President Donald Trump, at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, on February 13, 2021 Alex Edelman – .
The New York State Democratic Attorney, Letitia James, also investigates complaints of bank fraud and insurance fraud allegedly committed by the Trump Organization in the framework of a civil lawsuit.
The 74-year-old former president, recently acquitted in a second impeachment proceedings for inciting his followers to insurrection in the invasion of Congress on January 6It also faces other lawsuits, the majority in the civil sphere. He also faces a criminal investigation by prosecutors in Georgia into his attempts to subvert the outcome of the presidential election in that state after calling a senior Georgia official and asking him to “find” votes.