NEW YORK — President Donald Trump and his company face an investigation for possible “insurance and bank fraud,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance wrote Monday, asking a judge to uphold a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns.
The new filing in Manhattan federal court hinted at the scope of Vance’s investigation that seeks eight years of Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns. The probe includes an examination probe of how the Trump Organization accounted for hush money payments made to women during the 2016 election. But Carey Dunne, an attorney in Vance’s office, wrote that Trump’s legal challenges of the subpoena are based in part on the “false premise” that the investigation is limited to the hush money payments.
The DA needs the “documents to assess whether a pattern of financial misconduct, forexample, might violate state criminal law,” Dunne wrote.
The office is also investigating allegations of “insurance and bank fraud by the Trump Organization and its officers,” according to the filing.
Dunne cited news reports of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” as justification for the subpoena.
“These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” Dunne wrote.
Trump continues to fight the demand on his longtime accounting firm, Mazars, despite a historic Supreme Court ruling that he was not entitled to immunity while in the Oval Office and had to comply like any other citizen. Trump’s new challenges center on claims that Vance’s subpoena was “wildly overbroad” and issued in bad faith.
But Dunne wrote that Judge Victor Marrero, who is overseeing the case, already rejected those arguments.
Trump “merely regurgitates allegations and arguments this Court has rejected before,” Dunne wrote.
“Every day that goes by is another day (Trump) effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.”
Marrero declined “to impute bad faith to the District Attorney,” in a ruling last year. After receiving a confidential document detailing Vance’s investigation, the judge also determined the subpoena was reasonably crafted for what Dunne described as a “complex financial investigation.”
Nevertheless, it’s unlikely Trump’s taxes will become public before the 2020 election. Marrero must rule on the new arguments, which Trump can then appeal. Vance’s office has requested “expedited resolution” of the legal fight.