Manhattan DA Suggests He Is Investigating Trump Org For Fraud

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - AUGUST 21: President Donald Trump speaks to guests during the Joint Opening Ceremony at the American Veterans (AMVETS) 75th National Convention at the Galt House on August 21, 2019 in Louisvill... LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - AUGUST 21: President Donald Trump speaks to guests during the Joint Opening Ceremony at the American Veterans (AMVETS) 75th National Convention at the Galt House on August 21, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. AMVETS is a non-partisan, volunteer-led veterans advocacy organization that was formed by World War II veterans. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
August 3, 2020 1:05 p.m.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is probing the Trump Organization over fraud allegations, state prosecutors suggested in a Monday court filing.

The probe covers allegations of potential bank and insurance fraud, wrote Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a motion to dismiss a federal case that President Trump filed to block a subpoena that New York prosecutors obtained for the President’s tax returns, which are held by a third-party accounting firm.

The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge from President Trump to the subpoena last month, but left room for him to continue objecting to the demand for documents at the district court level.

Vance cited news reports and an article referencing former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony in the filing. At a hearing before the House Oversight Committee last year, Cohen alleged that Trump would change the book value of his properties for lenders and insurers.

The filing does not appear to cite a specific act of alleged wrongdoing as the focus of the investigation, however, instead arguing that “undisputed information in the public record” invalidates Trump’s earlier accusation that the subpoena was “wildly overbroad.”

Rather, Vance argued, there have been “public allegations of possible criminal activity at Plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.”

“Although the Office bears no affirmative burden to justify the breadth of the Mazars Subpoena, and although Plaintiff is not entitled to know the scope and nature of the grand jury investigation, publicly available information itself establishes a satisfactory predicate for the Mazars Subpoena,” Vance argued.

Trump asked a Manhattan federal judge to throw out the subpoena last year, and re-upped the request last month after the Supreme Court rejected his argument that his status as President rendered him “immune from criminal process” but gave him leave to file further arguments.

Trump’s first round of arguments saw one of his attorneys claim that, were the President to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, police could only investigate the crime until after the expiry of his presidential term.

Vance’s attorneys accused Trump of repeating the same arguments that the Supreme Court has already dismissed, saying that his complaint “alleges nothing new, despite the nearly year-long litigation leading up to the filing of the [complaint].”

A New York grand jury first issued the subpoena to Trump’s longtime accountant Mazars USA LLP in August 2019. The subpoena has remained dormant for the past year as litigation progressed up to the Supreme Court.

State prosecutors had suggested at the time that their focus was on whether any New York State laws were broken when Cohen set up hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.

Read the filing here:

Support The TPM Journalism Fund
  • Contributions allow us to hire more journalists
  • Contributions allow us to provide free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • Contributions support independent, non-corporate journalism
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30