The Supreme Court thus paved the way for Manhattan’s New York district attorney Cyrus Vance to obtain Trump’s tax returns, which is a tough legal setback for the former governor, who has strongly and long opposed handing over his financial accounts to the court.
However, the documents will not be released publicly, as, according to the Supreme’s opinion, tax returns will be subject to the grand jury’s secrecy rules, which prevent their disclosure outside the court.
Vance investigates whether Trump’s secret money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from making public an alleged sexual relationship between the two, violated New York State law.
Trump insists on “bad faith” and “harassment”
Trump has insisted on his refusal to provide financial documents on the account that the order is too broad, issued “in bad faith” and amounts to political “harassment” by Vance, who is from the Democratic Party.
The Manhattan district attorney claims Trump’s eight-year tax returns and other documents as part of his investigation into secret payments to the porn actress. In addition, Vance is studying whether the former governor committed other possible crimes, including bank and insurance fraud, as suggested months ago in court documents.
Last July, the Supreme had already rejected Trump’s attempts to be declared immune to these subpoenas given his status as president at the time, and established that, as ruler, he was not entitled to any kind of treatment other than the common of citizens.
In addition to that process, Trump is the subject of another judicial investigation in New York for possible concealment of the value of assets for loans and tax exemptions. This other process is carried out by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who investigates whether Trump inflicted the value of some properties in the state to obtain loans and whether he also misrepresented them to claim tax breaks.
Among the cases under investigation is a gigantic mansion owned by the Trump family in northern New York, Westchester County, for which they received generous tax exemptions in arguing that this land was dedicated to natural conservation, something they could have emulated in other failed development projects.
Both processes can complicate Trump’s legal problems after leaving the presidency on January 20.