The U.S. Supreme Court did not stop Manhattan District Attorney Democrat Cyrus Vance Jr. from gaining access to former President Donald Trump’s tax records. The ruling is a disappointment to Trump, who has been shielding his tax returns from scrutiny.
All former presidents have made their tax returns public, though they haven’t made family members’ tax returns available. Trump’s tax information will show the activities of his real estate company currently under investigation by Vance. Trump said the investigation is a “witch hunt” like the three-year Mueller investigation about Russian collusion.
“This investigation is a continuation of the greatest political Witch Hunt in the history of our Country… The new phenomenon of “headhunting” prosecutors and AGs—who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon—is a threat to the very foundation of our liberty. That’s what is done in third-world countries… In the meantime, murders and violent crime are up in New York City by record numbers, and nothing is done about it. Our elected officials don’t care. All they focus on is the persecution of President Donald J. Trump,” he said in a statement.
Last October, a lower court had directed Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA to comply with Vance’s subpoena. It asked the company to hand over information regarding Trump’s tax returns and related documents to a grand jury. With the Supreme Court dismissing Trump’s request to put the lower court’s decision on hold, the New York grand jury will soon get their hands on Trump’s documents.
The jury can only view the documents in secret. But there is always a possibility of a leak to the media. The Supreme Court refused to provide any explanation as to why they rejected Trump’s plea. In October last year, the last written briefs in the case were filed. But the Supreme Court waited months until Trump left office to decide on the issue.
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Vance’s subpoenas cover a period between Jan. 2011 to Aug. 2019. Mazars had said that it would comply with the subpoenas. However, Trump filed a lawsuit to block the release of the records. After the Supreme Court decision, Vance only issued three words to convey his thoughts – “The work continues.”
The investigation into Trump began two years ago. It was initially concerned about “hush money” payments that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, gave two women who apparently had sexual relations with the former president. Later on, the investigation moved to look into Trump’s business dealings as well.
Cutting ties with Trump
Vance’s investigation is an example of the continued pressure that Trump has been under since leaving office. Several businesses have cut ties with the former president after the Jan. 6 Capitol break-in. Signature Bank closed two of Trump’s personal accounts worth $5.3 million.
“We believe the appropriate action would be the resignation of the president of the United States, which is in the best interests of our nation and the American people… We have never before commented on any political matter and hope to never do so again,” the bank said in a statement.
Deutsche Bank has also cut ties with Trump. The former president apparently owes more than $300 million to the bank. Professional Bank is winding down its relationship with Trump. The bank had granted an $11-million loan for Trump to buy a home for his sister. Trump also has a money market account worth $25 million with the bank.
Shopify closed the Trump Organization’s online store. The Girl Scouts are looking to end their lease in a building owned by Trump. The PGA canceled its 2022 championship scheduled to be held at Trump’s Bedminster golf club. According to one report, Trump was more disturbed by not being able to host the golf tournament than he was about being impeached.