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The Yugest Evidence Win Ever? Manhattan DA Finally Obtains ‘Millions of Pages’ of Trump Documents, Tax Filings

Just days after the Supreme Court of the United States finally did something—anything—to respond to Donald Trump’s last-ditch effort to keep his financial records away from New York state prosecutors, CNN is reporting that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has already obtained “millions of pages” of Trump records, including his long-hidden tax returns.

Danny Frost, Senior Advisor and Director of Communications for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, confirmed to Law&Crime that the DA’s office obtained the records on Monday.

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied former President Trump a stay, allowing the Manhattan DA’s criminal investigation to proceed and putting an end to years of wrangling in the courts over these records. Trump’s months-long arguments of special absolute immunity from the state criminal process fell flat at the Supreme Court in July 2020 and, all things considered, the second round of ensuing arguments didn’t take very long to fail as well.

Among those arguments was the contention that Vance’s subpoena of Trump’s finance firm Mazars USA was a highly politicized “fishing expedition” that was “overbroad” and being conducted in bad faith.

“[T]he District Attorney issued a broad subpoena seeking all financial records, documents, and communications from every business associated with the Trump Organization over the course of nearly a decade. In fact, the subpoena reaches entire categories of records that have nothing to do with those 2016 payments—for example, an accounting of the assets held in 2011 by entities in California, Illinois, or Dubai, and documents related to a lease between the federal government and a D.C. hotel,” Trump lawyers argued. “Accepting these factual allegations as true, the subpoena is plausibly overbroad.”

The Supreme Court did not accept those arguments, and declined to issue the stay Trump sought. The high court waited around a month after President Joe Biden’s inauguration to issue that denial.

Vance obtained the documents as part of a grand jury investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization for several possible criminal violations of state law, such as a “Scheme to Defraud (Penal Law § 190.65), Falsification of Business Records (Penal Law § 175.10), Insurance Fraud (Penal Law §§ 176.15-176.30), and Criminal Tax Fraud (Tax Law §§ 1803-1806), among others”).

The Manhattan DA recently escalated his criminal probe with the hire of outside counsel Mark Pomerantz, a former federal prosecutor known for his expertise in untangling complex financial dealings and white-collar crimes. Pomerantz has already interviewed former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, and now he apparently has millions of documents to read and examine.

This is what the Mazars subpoena sought:

1. For the period of January 1, 2011 to the present, with respect to Donald J. Trump, the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, the Trump Organization Inc., the Trump Organization LLC, the Trump Corporation, DJT Holdings LLC, DJT Holdings Managing Member LLC, Trump Acquisition LLC, Trump Acquisition, Corp., the Trump Old Post Office LLC, the Trump Foundation, and any related parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures, predecessors, or successors (collectively, the “Trump Entities”):

a. Tax returns and related schedules, in draft, as-filed, and amended form;

b. Any and all statements of financial condition, annual statements, periodic financial reports, and independent auditors’ reports prepared,
compiled, reviewed, or audited by Mazars USA LLP or its predecessor, WeiserMazars LLP;

c. Regardless of time period, any and all engagement agreements or contracts related to the preparation, compilation, review, or auditing of the documents described in items (a) and (b);

d. All underlying, supporting, or source documents and records used in the preparation, compilation, review, or auditing of documents described in items (a) and (b), and any summaries of such documents and records; and

e. All work papers, memoranda, notes, and communications related to the preparation, compilation, review, or auditing of the documents de-scribed in items (a) and (b), including, but not limited to,

i. All communications between Donald Bender and any employee or representative of the Trump Entities as defined above; and

ii. All communications, whether internal or external, related to concerns about the completeness, accuracy, or authenticity of any records, documents, valuations, explanations, or other in-formation provided by any employee or representative of the Trump Entities.

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is the editor-in-chief of Law&Crime.