New York prosecutor hires forensic accountants as criminal investigation into Trump Organization escalates

Outgoing president says investigations into his business are politically motivated

Ex-Pence aide turned Trump critic 'very concerned' about Jan 6 violence

A New York prosecutor has hired forensic accountants as part of his criminal investigation into the president and his business deals, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday, the latest sign of the intense challenges that face Mr Trump once he leaves office.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which has been investigating Mr Trump since 2018, reportedly retained a forensic accounting firm called FTI Consulting to examine the president’s finances, particularly any anomalies in his property deals.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr, a Democrat, opened his investigation into Mr Trump in 2018 to explore campaign season hush money payments made to two women who claimed they’d previously had affairs with the president.

It has since expanded to consider the Trump Organization’s sprawling business empire, and investigators have pored over Mr Trump’s financial records, spoken with employees at Deutsche Bank, his most important lender, and subpoenaed insurance broker Aon.

Mr Vance is still battling with the president’s lawyers, who’ve dismissed the investigation as politically motivated, to get access to eight years of tax records and other information from Mazars USA, the president’s accounting firm. In the Supreme Court, the president tried, unsuccessfully, to argue he was immune from state prosecution, and now his lawyers are back at the high court fighting the subpoena to Mazars, which they branded a “fishing expedition.”  

Once he leaves office, the president will face a variety of different lawsuits and investigations, including a civil probe from New York attorney general Letitia James, as well as defamation suits from women who’ve accused the president of sexual assault.

He’s also battling his niece Mary Trump in a multi-million dollar inheritance suit, as well as facing action from former tenants and participants in a multi-level marketing scheme connected to the Trumps. The president has denied wrongdoing in each case.

And while the president has been handing out numerous pardons to friends and allies before leaving office, and has apparently floated the unprecedented idea of pardoning himself of any potential crimes before leaving office, even this norm-shattering move would only apply to the federal judicial system, leaving him vulnerable to numerous lower-court lawsuits and investigations

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