- The Washington Times - Monday, August 3, 2020

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on Monday suggested that his office wants President Trump’s tax returns as part of an investigation into criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.

In a new court filing, Mr. Vance said his office is investigating “possible extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including fraud allegations that have popped up in media reports over the past few years.

Mr. Vance made the claim in a legal filing asking a federal judge to block Mr. Trump’s latest bid to keep his tax returns and other financial records out of the hands of prosecutors.

Mr. Vance said in a footnote that allegations of corruption in three published newspaper reports justify his request for the president’s tax and financial records.

“In light of these public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization, there was nothing facially improper (or even particularly unusual) about the Mazars Subpoena, which [was] issued in connection with a complex financial investigation, requesting eight years of records from an accounting firm,” prosecutors with Mr. Vance’s office wrote.

The footnote cites reporting published last year by The Washington Post alleging that Mr. Trump had inflated his net worth. Prosecutors also noted a 2018 report in The New York Times claiming Mr. Trump used “dubious tax schemes,” including “outright fraud” while managing the Trump Organization in the 1990s.

A third story, by The Wall Street Journal, alleges that the president directed hush money be paid to two women who alleged they had affairs with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Vance had previously cited those allegations as among the reasons for his subpoena probe.

Mr. Trump has denied having affairs with the women.

Mr. Vance also said the president’s second lawsuit to stop a subpoena issued by his office “merely regurgitates allegations and arguments this Court has rejected before.”

“This ‘new’ filing contains nothing new whatsoever, and [Trump] has utterly failed to make a ‘stronger showing’ of bad faith than he previously made to this Court,” Mr. Vance wrote in a U.S. District of Southern New York Court filing.

Mr. Vance also accused Mr. Trump of trying to drag out a grand jury investigation into his finances with a barrage of legal filings. He said the delay could run out the statute of limitations on certain alleged crimes.

“Every day that goes by is another day Plaintiff effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court,” he wrote.

Mr. Trump’s legal team last month raised new challenges to Mr. Vance’s subpoena. The president’s lawyers said the subpoena was too broad and impedes his ability to carry out his job.

That filing came after the Supreme Court rejected Mr. Trump’s first effort to dismiss the subpoena. The court ruled presidents don’t have immunity from investigations by state prosecutors while in office.

But the Supreme Court did allow Mr. Trump to raise other challenges to the subpoena at the federal district court level.

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