NEW YORK: New York prosecutors investigating former president Donald Trump’s finances have received his tax returns following a marathon legal battle, a spokesman said on Thursday.
“Our office obtained the records on Monday,” Danny Frost, a spokesman for Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, said.
Vance’s office obtained the returns after the supreme court rejected a last-ditch bid on Monday by Trump’s lawyers to block the release of the records.
The prosecutor is investigating hush payments made to two women who allege they had affairs with Trump and possible fraud.
Vance, a Democrat, fought for over a year to obtain the eight years of returns.
He issued a subpoena to Trump’s accountants Mazars USA in August 2019 ordering the company to furnish documents stretching back to 2011.
Cyrus Vance’s probe was initially focused on payments made before the 2016 presidential election to two women who claim they had affairs with Trump, including porn star Stormy Daniels.
But the state-level investigation is also now examining possible allegations of tax evasion, and insurance and bank fraud.
Trump, who left the White House last month, called the investigation “a continuation of the greatest political witch-hunt in the history of our country.”
US presidents are not required by law to release details of their personal finances, but every leader since Richard Nixon has done so.
Trump repeatedly said he would release them pending an audit, but ultimately broke with the tradition.
Vance’s investigators have interviewed Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who received a three-year prison term after admitting making hush payments to the two women.
If Trump were charged and convicted, he could face a possible jail term.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021