Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance now has a clean shot at former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The refusal by the Supreme Court earlier Monday to hear Trump’s appeal is a boon to Vance’s investigation, which has sought access to the records since a Manhattan grand jury issued a subpoena to seize them in August 2019.
Former President Trump and others in his orbit responded to the move with outrage on Monday.
Trump released a statement describing the Vance probe, which may be reviewing allegations of tax, bank, and insurance fraud, as “a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country.” That now includes the Mueller investigation and two impeachment trials.
Trump succeeded — aided by the Supreme Court and lawyers willing to argue that presidents are beyond the reach of criminal process — in keeping his tax returns out of the hands of investigators for the entire duration of his presidency. But now that they’re within reach of a Manhattan grand jury investigation, Trump noted that the returns had been prepared “by among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S.”
From there, it was all grievance for the former president.
“The Tea Party was treated far better by the IRS than Donald Trump.”
“The Supreme Court never should have let this “fishing expedition” happen, but they did.”
“These are attacks by Democrats willing to do anything to stop the almost 75 million people (the most votes, by far, ever gotten by a sitting president) who voted for me in the election — an election which many people, and experts, feel that I won. I agree!”
But from there, Trump launched into a broader argument, which echoes the kind of logic-as-threat that has become familiar since Jan. 6: that Trump facing any accountability would spell the end of America.
“That’s fascism, not justice — and that is exactly what they are trying to do with respect to me, except that the people of our Country won’t stand for it,” the statement reads.
Others in Trumpworld also took the cue, and hit out against the Supreme Court decision (or lack thereof).
Don Jr. described it as “political persecution” of his father.
So the Supreme Court will allow the political persecution for Donald Trump by vindictive partisan democrats to continue.
If they can keep a witch hunt against Trump going for years who cant they and more importantly who won't they do it to???
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Trump himself ended the statement with the characteristic gesture towards something more: that he’s the victim, but he won’t back down anytime soon.
“I will fight on, just as I have, for the last five years (even before I was successfully elected), despite all of the election crimes that were committed against me,” Trump said. “We will win!”