AP Photo/Evan Vucci
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office asked a judge for eight years of President Donald Trump's tax records on the grounds that media reports had identified "extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization," the Associated Press reported Monday.
Vance cited newspaper articles identifying potential criminal activity by Trump and his organization.
Trump described the subpoena as a "witch hunt" during a press briefing Monday.
A New York City prosecutor told a judge he wanted access to eight years of President Donald Trump's tax records while citing multiple media reports that he said identified "extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization," the Associated Press reported Monday.
The New York Times reported that the filing from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office suggested there was a "broader inquiry" into the Trump Organization than previously known.
The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., did not specify what specifically prompted him to seek the tax record but cited several newspaper articles. One was a Washington Post story that said Trump might have illegally inflated the value of his properties and his net worth to lenders. Another article came from The Wall Street Journal, which described the congressional hearing last year in which Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen accused Trump of deflating his net worth for tax purposes.
"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," Vance said, according to the AP. "This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct."
According to The Times, lawyers for Trump claimed there was no wrongdoing.
It is unclear exactly what prosecutors are investigating; according to the AP, attorneys in Vance's office said Trump did not need to know the "exact nature of the grand jury probe, which they called a 'complex financial investigation.'"
The district attorney's office had investigated hush-money payoffs to two women prior to the 2016 election, The Times reported. Cohen pleaded guilty to charges related to the payments and is serving the remaining two years of his three-year sentence in home confinement.
Trump called the investigation a "witch hunt" during a press briefing on Monday.
In August 2019, Vance's office subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA. As The Washington Post noted, Trump's lawyers had previously argued that the subpoena was illegal. Trump's lawyers argued that as a sitting president, he couldn't be investigated; however, Vance's office claimed their argument was just a means to stop the investigation from continuing.
The Supreme Court last month said Trump's position as president did not protect him from all investigation.
"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," Carey Dunne, the general counsel in Vance's office, told The Post.
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