New York Investigators Subpoena 8 Years Of Trump’s Taxes
New York state prosecutors based out of Manhattan have subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s tax records for the past eight years.
The subpoenas were directed toward the accounting firm Trump has used for that time period, Mazars USA, the New York Times reported on Monday. The subpoenas also were issued at the end of August, when the investigation was initiated.
Mazars USA has said it will “respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.” The company has not commented on whether it would try to refuse to hand over the documents without a more direct court order.
The subpoenaed documents include Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns since the year 2011.
The documents are needed, according to the district attorney’s office, to help in their investigation into alleged hush-money payments the president may have paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whom Trump has reportedly had an affair with. Trump has denied the affair took place, but his former “fixer” lawyer Michael Cohen provided documents suggesting the payment was made to Daniels in a plea deal he made with investigators in 2018, NBC News reported.
NEW: Manhattan D.A. subpoenaed 8 years of Trump tax returns. “…it may be more difficult to fend off a subpoena in a criminal investigation with a sitting grand jury, as there is in Manhattan”
— kendis (@kendisgibson) September 16, 2019
Federal investigators have said they mostly concluded their look into the hush-money payments, and it appears that Trump will not face any charges related to them. But state investigators opened their own inquiry late last month, to determine whether the payments violated state law.
It is illegal, for instance, for an individual to make a false business claim on their tax documents. If Trump alleged on his filings that his payment to Daniels, through his company’s finances, was a “legal expense,” it could violate such a claim, for example.
It becomes a felony if the false filing is made to conceal another crime.
Under the circumstances of this subpoena, it’s unlikely that the president will have to reveal his taxes to the public, even if the documents get into the hands of the Manhattan DA. Only if a criminal trial comes about from the investigation could his taxes be made available for public consumption.
Trump has long-denied the public the ability to view his tax returns, bucking a trend that presidential candidates have voluntarily complied with since the 1970s. Trump had said in 2016 that he would make them available at some point during the campaign, but alleged that an IRS audit prevented him from doing so — a statement that is false, as such an audit wouldn’t disallow any candidate from making their records public, CNN reported.
Trump has yet to make good on his promise, and it’s unlikely he ever will in a voluntary way, as he has since said the American people do not care to see them any longer, since he won election. However, polling from this spring demonstrated that a majority of Americans were still interested in seeing his taxes, reporting from CNBC detailed.