New York prosecutors may be closer to getting a look at Donald Trump’s tax returns. Today, the New York Times reports:
“State prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed President Trump’s accounting firm (Mazars USA) to demand eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.“
This subpoena comes less than a week after the revelation that Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen met with prosecutors and is cooperating with their investigation into the hush-money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. The Times writes:
“The subpoena was issued by the Manhattan district attorney’s office late last month, soon after it opened a criminal investigation into the role that the president and his family business played in hush-money payments made in the run-up to the election.“
And there may be a lot more to this case. The newspaper adds:
“State prosecutors are examining whether the company falsely accounted for the reimbursements as a legal expense. In New York, filing a false business record can be a crime.“
CNN legal analyst Elie Honig adds this demand may be hard for the accounting firm to dodge:
“They have two options, provide the documents to the Manhattan DA or wait and see if the administration challenges it as they did federally and wait for it to go to court. But I don’t see any reason why this would come out differently than the other legal dispute with Mazars that came out which said they had to comply, they had to supply the documents to the prosecutor or Congress.”
- House Democrats have also subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns and are currently engaged in a court battle with Mazars USA, the same accounting firm subpoenaed by Vance’s office.
- Their lawsuit, which was filed by the House Ways and Means Committee after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defied a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns in May, is likely to end up in front of the Supreme Court.
But there are significant differences between Congress’ request and this new one. This subpoena is more formal. Also, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to Trump’s returns being released publicly.