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Trump’s tax returns finally come to light

Prosecutor Cyrus R. Vance Jr. spent a year and a half trying to get Donald Trump’s tax returns.

You will soon have them in your hands, now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for you to receive them. But what impact can those statements have on the investigations that Democrats carry out of the former president’s businesses?

Former prosecutors say those documents can help determine whether Trump lied when negotiating loans or with the tax authorities.

“Prosecutors try to detect discrepancies. For example, if Trump told the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) that he was bankrupt and the lending banks that he was rich. That’s the kind of discrepancy that could have consequences, “said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor. “These documents are very important in putting together the puzzle.”

It is not known whether the documents will reveal any wrongdoing. Trump has said for years that he did not violate the laws and that he is in the crosshairs of Democrats for political reasons.

A look at the state of affairs regarding Trump’s financial dealings:

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SOMETHING MORE THAN SIMPLE TAX DECLARATIONS

Trump went above and beyond to prevent his tax returns from being made public, but those aren’t the only documents that will come to light.

Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, is required to provide not only the final versions of the statements but also the initial versions, as well as “all statements regarding (Trump’s) financial status, annual reports, periodic financial reports and reports of independent auditors ”in his possession.

This could give prosecutors full access to Trump’s finances, according to Adam D. Citron, a former state attorney and partner at the Davidoff Hutcher & Citron law firm. “It’s really the kitchen sink,” where everything goes.

These documents can give authorities a chance to see if Trump or his companies gave government officials different information than they have presented in other settings, including banks and partners.

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BRIBES

When investigations into Trump’s finances began, one of the first things authorities asked the Trump Organization for was information about payments made by Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, to women who said they had had extramarital affairs with him. Magnate.

Cohen said Trump’s company reimbursed him for the money he paid to the porn actress known as Stormy Daniels, passing off those payments as compensation for legal services.

It’s unclear if the documents will add anything new to this part of Trump’s story.

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TAX REDUCTIONS

Prosecutors have been investigating some of the remedies Trump appealed to to reduce his tax burden. The information in the documents could reveal whether any wrongdoing was committed for that purpose.

One element under study is the benefit Trump obtained by donating part of his property in Seven Springs, north of New York City, to a trust. Some experts wonder if Trump exaggerated the value of the land in order to get more profit than his share.

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DECLARATIONS TO CREDIT INSTITUTIONS

Vance’s office did not disclose the scope of this investigation. But there are legal documents in which prosecutors mention newspaper articles that say Trump always exaggerates the value of his properties to banks and insurers. The Associated Press reported last month that Vance’s office recently spoke for hours with Cohen, asking, among other things, about Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, his main creditor.

A Washington Post article recently said that the Trump Organization systematically inflated the number of lots for sale at a California golf club, the size of the land of one of its vineyards, and the number of floors in the Trump Tower, while it excluded information about its debts on hotel projects in Chicago and Las Vegas.

Tax documents will not be the only tool available to prosecutors to determine whether these returns constitute fraud.

“They’re going to look at appraisals and property values,” Citron said. “And they will study the lawyers’ bills to see what services they were paid for.”

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling does not guarantee that the public will have access to the tax returns. For now, these documents are protected by the rules that govern the functioning of investigative juries and it is foreseeable that there will be “many legal disputes” regarding a future release, Citron said.