Supreme Court rejects Trump's bid to shield his taxes

Lawrence Kim
Февраля 26, 2021

It already was clear that the high court had no intention to intervene in the cases because it did not act before Congress on January 6 certified Biden's victory. The court also turned down motions to expedite the election cases. It will remain secret unless criminal charges are filed, in which case it can be made public. But a court that includes three Trump appointees waited through the election, Trump's challenge to his defeat, and a month after Trump left office before issuing its order.

Both before and after the election, Trump and his supporters tried to get the Supreme Court to throw out the three-day extension on counting ballots. The court also turned away separate cases brought by Trump allies in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Arizona - all states won by Biden.

© Alex Brandon, AP Former President Donald Trump lost a battle at the Supreme Court to keep his tax records from investigators. Vance, a Democrat, had subpoenaed the records from the Mazars accounting firm that has long done work for Trump and his businesses. This decision came in an unsigned opinion upholding a lower Court of Appeals ruling that said Trump must comply.

The Supreme Court's action, which followed Vance's hiring this month of a prominent lawyer with deep experience in white-collar and organized-crime cases, could boost the district attorney's investigation into the Trump Organization following a flurry of recent subpoenas.

"The Supreme Court never should have let this "fishing expedition" happen, but they did", the former president said in a press release titled, "Statement on the Continuing Political Persecution of President Donald J. Trump".

In 2018, more than a year after Trump became president, she released a sketch of the man. Trump responded on Twitter to the release of the sketch, writing: "A sketch years later about a nonexistent man". The former president can still formally appeal the case to the high court, but it seems unlikely that the court would deny the stay but then decide to take up Trump's appeal.

Vance's office hasn't disclosed the full nature of its inquiry. In one court filing previous year, however, prosecutors said they were justified in demanding the records because of public reports of "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump organization".

When the district attorney's investigation first began, one of the initial subpoenas sent to the Trump Organization asked for information about payments Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to women who had claimed to have had extramarital sexual encounters with Trump. But what will that mean for the Democrat's grand jury investigation into Trump's business affairs?

Cohen has said Trump's company later reimbursed him for one of those payments, to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, disguising it in the form of a legal fees. However, potential prosecution and investigations that arise from prosecutors' possession of his returns could dog Trump in his post-presidency years. It was issued before Trump's third nominee, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, replaced the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court.

Trump's attorneys asked the high court to intervene in the case after losing the legal battles in lower courts.

Reuters reported on Friday that Vance's office had subpoenaed a New York City property tax agency, suggesting prosecutors are examining Trump's efforts to reduce his commercial real-estate taxes for possible evidence of fraud. It was those rulings that Trump had sought to put on hold.

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