The long-awaited breakthrough on Donald Trump’s tax records has finally come to fruition.
The day-to-day worries about threats to our democracy have been alleviated by the United States Supreme Court — one powerful branch in our three-part government matrix.
District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has been fighting for a year-and-a-half for access to the documents.
The high court, in the past week, rejected the former president’s last-ditch effort to prevent them from being handed over.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office enforced a subpoena on Trump’s accounting firm and the case was decided within hours of the Supremes’ ruling on Thursday.
Trump no longer has the cloak of being the president.
Vance, a Democrat, is conducting a wide-ranging investigation that includes an examination of whether Trump or his businesses lied about the value of assets to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits.
Vance’s office issued a subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, in August 2019, seeking eight years of his tax return and related documents.
Trump’s lawyers immediately went to court to block its enforcement, first arguing that he was immune from being investigated while president.
In a three-word statement after the Supreme Court ruled, Vance said, “The work continues.”
Trump called Vance’s investigation “a fishing expedition and a “continuation of the witch hunt — the greatest witch hunt in history.”
Vance’s subpoena sought from Mazars USA not only the final versions of Trump’s tax returns, but also draft versions of those returns and “any and all statement of financial condition, annual statements, periodic financial reports and independent auditors’ reports held by the company.
Here’s the process: When the Supreme Court rejected the 7-2 argument last July, Trump’s set of lawyers returned to the lower court and argued the subpoena was issued in bad faith overly broad, might-have-been politically motivated and amounted to harassment. An appellate court rejected that argument and the Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene.
Vance is leading the investigation along with his general counsel Carey Dunne, who made arguments on behalf of the office at various appellate court hearings. Vance recently hired former mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz as a special assistant district attorney to assist in the probe.
The New York Times separately obtained years of Trump’s tax data and published stories last year detailing some of his finances, including that he paid just $750 in federal income tax in 2017 and no income tax in 11 of 18 years because of major losses.