US Supreme Court allows release of Trump tax returns

Trump’s secret tax returns finally handed over to Manhattan DA after two-year battle

‘Millions’ of pages of documents have been turned over to New York prosecutors

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 25 February 2021 16:52
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Donald Trump’s tax records are now in the possession of New York prosecutors after a years-long battle by the former president to keep them secret.

The District Attorney’s office obtained the records and a number of other documents, on Monday, only hours after the Supreme Court denied a move by Trump attorneys to keep them private.

A source tells CNN that there are millions of pages of documents from January 2011 to August 2019 including tax filings, financial statements, work papers, and contracts relating to the preparation of the tax returns.

New York DA Cyrus Vance is investigating if the former president, or the Trump Organisation, engaged in tax fraud, insurance fraud, or other schemes.

The documents were handed over by accounting firm Mazars USA which has a longstanding working relationship with Mr Trump.

They will not be made public as they are subject to grand jury secrecy rules, but if criminal charges are filed then relevant portions will be included in court documents as evidence.

Handing over the tax records brings to an end a 17-month-long effort by the former president and his legal team to block prosecutors from obtaining the documents.

Mr Trump’s lawyers sought to dismiss the New York subpoena of his tax affairs as a “fishing expedition”, saying it was too broad in scope and as a result “unlawful”.

After the Supreme Court decision, the former president issued a statement calling the probe “a continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in the history of our country”.

The case the high court ruled in involves a grand jury subpoena for more than eight years of Mr Trump’s personal and corporate tax records. Mr Vance has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records. 

In one court filing last year, however, prosecutors said they were justified in demanding the records because of public reports of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organisation.”

The investigation covers hush money paid to women who claimed to have conducted extra-marital affairs with Mr Trump; whether arrangements to reduce his tax bill were legal; and whether statements made to banks for loans were fraudulent.

In a statement shortly after news broke of the Supreme Court decision on Monday, Mr Vance said: “The work continues.”

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