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The New York Times

Here’s what’s next in the Trump Taxes Investigation

NEW YORK – terabytes of data. Dozens of prosecutors, investigators, and forensic accountants search millions of pages of financial documents. An external consultancy that deals with the arcana of commercial real estate and tax strategies. This is the monumental task ahead of us in the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and his family business after a US Supreme Court order on Monday cleared the way for prosecutors, Trump’s tax returns and others Receive eight years worth of financial records. The brief, unsigned order was a resounding victory for prosecutors and a defeat for Trump. He ended his bitter and protracted legal battle to block the publication of the records – an effort that hit the Supreme Court twice – and jerked prosecutors after the lawsuit stalled them for more than a year. Sign up for The Morning Newsletter from the New York Times. The investigation is one of two known criminal investigations against Trump, the other by Georgia prosecutors examining Trump’s efforts to persuade local officials to reverse the election results there. When Trump stepped down, he lost the protection against indictment that the presidency gave him. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made a curt statement saying, “The work continues.” A spokesman for his office declined to comment on the investigation. The crucial next phase of the Manhattan investigation is set to begin in earnest this week when prosecutor investigators collect the records at the law firm that runs Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA, according to knowledgeable individuals as well as former prosecutors and other experts on the next steps on condition of anonymity. Investigators, who are carrying a copy of the August 2019 grand jury subpoena that was the focus of the lawsuit, will go to the law firm in New York’s Westchester County. You will leave with a large amount of digital copies of the returns, myriad financial statements, and other records and communications related to Trump’s taxes and those of his companies. Investigators will then deliver the data to the Vance office, where the team of prosecutors, forensic accountants and analysts investigated Trump and his companies for a wide variety of possible financial crimes. Vance, a Democrat, has investigated whether Trump, his company and his employees have committed insurance, tax and banking fraud, among other things. Even before the Supreme Court ruling, the investigation had intensified as Vance’s office had issued more than a dozen subpoenas and interviewed witnesses in recent months, including employees of Deutsche Bank, one of Trump’s top lenders. The subpoenas relate to a central aspect of Vance’s investigation, which focuses on whether Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, has increased the value of some of its signature items to get the best possible credit while lowering values ​​to increase property taxes lower, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The prosecution is also reviewing statements made by the Trump Organization to insurance companies about the value of various assets. With Mazars’ records – including tax returns, the business records they are based on, and communications between the Trump Organization and its accountants – prosecutors can now see a fuller picture of possible discrepancies between what the company says to its lenders and tax authorities . Prosecutors have also cited the Trump Organization over records of tax write-offs on million dollar advisory fees, some of which appear to have gone to the president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, an arrangement first reported by the New York Times. The company handed over some of those documents last month, two knowledgeable people said, although prosecutors have questioned whether the company fully responded to the subpoena. It remains unclear whether the prosecution will ultimately bring charges against Donald Trump; the Company; or any of its executives, including Trump’s two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. In a long and furious statement reiterating many of his known grievances, Donald Trump slammed the Supreme Court and what he called “the continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in our country’s history”. He added, “For more than two years, New York City has been scrutinizing almost every transaction I’ve ever conducted, including finding tax returns filed by the largest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the United States.” likely to argue to prosecutors that Trump could not have fooled Deutsche Bank because the bank, a sophisticated financial player, did its own analysis of Trump’s real estate. Mazars said in a statement that he was aware of the new ruling. “As we have maintained throughout this process, Mazars continues to strive to meet all of our professional and legal obligations,” the statement said. The biggest challenge facing Vance prosecutors will be piecing together the puzzle of tax records, financial reports, and supporting documents that Trump’s company provided to accountants. Earlier this month, Vance hired a celebrity in the New York legal community, Mark F. Pomerantz, to help with the investigation. Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor with significant experience investigating and defending complex white-collar and organized crime cases, will, among other things, handle the interaction with key witnesses. For additional help, the Vance office hired FTI, a large consulting firm that can analyze some of the industries Trump’s businesses operate in, including commercial real estate and tax issues. The company will also upload the dataset into a data analysis and document management system, which it can use to examine it and look for patterns to aid the investigation. The lawsuit brought by Supreme Court justices, who denied Trump an emergency stay with no apparent objection, so the court could fully review the problems in the case a second time, will not place Trump’s tax returns in the hands of Congress or automatically publish them. The grand jury’s nondisclosure laws keep the recordings private unless the Vance office charges and uses the documents as evidence in a lawsuit. The public has already learned a lot about Trump’s taxes in other ways. The New York Times received tax return data spanning more than two decades for Trump and the hundreds of companies that make up his corporate organization, including detailed information from his first two years in office. The Times published a series of research articles last year based on an analysis of the data that showed that Trump had paid virtually no income tax for many years and that he is currently undergoing an audit in which a negative decision made him more than $ 100 million Could cost us dollars. He and his companies file separate tax returns and employ complicated and sometimes aggressive tax strategies. However, the Supreme Court action set in motion a series of events that could lead to the extraordinary possibility of criminal proceedings against the former president. At the very least, the ruling removes Trump’s control over his best-kept financial records and the power to decide when, if at all, they will be made available for public inspection. Trump and his lawyers have long fought to keep the records secret. After promising to publish his tax returns during the 2016 campaign, as any presidential candidate has done for at least 40 years, he refused and stubbornly criticized the Democrats and other opponents. In addition to fighting the subpoena from Vance’s office in court, Trump sued blocking the subpoena from Congress and successfully opposed a California law requiring presidential candidates to clear their return. The Supreme Court ruling comes nearly 18 months after Trump first sued Vance to remove the subpoena and spark a lawsuit that first reached the Supreme Court last summer. In a landmark ruling in July, the court rejected Trump’s argument that as a seated president he was safe from investigation. The case was argued by Vance’s General Counsel Carey Dunne, who is leading the investigation. However, the court said Trump could challenge the subpoena for other reasons, such as its relevance and scope. Trump then opened a new lawsuit, arguing that the subpoena was too broad and constituted political harassment. After losing that argument in the lower courts, Trump asked the Supreme Court to postpone the execution of Vance’s subpoena until it could decide whether to hear Trump’s appeal. It was this request that the Supreme Court refused, effectively ending the former president’s legal search, legal experts said. “Trump is not respected as a former president,” said Anne Milgram, a former Manhattan deputy district attorney who later served as attorney general in New Jersey. “Under the laws of New York State, he has the same rights as others in the state. Neither more nor less. “Reed Brodsky, a longtime business defender and former federal attorney, said Trump’s attorneys are likely to tell him that further attempts to block the subpoena could undermine their ability to argue the merits of his defense.” They’re running Risk of undermining their credibility if they continue to make frivolous arguments, “said Brodsky. This article originally appeared in the New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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