By Ariel Steinsaltz
The Supreme Court issued a ruling Monday saying that it would not prevent former president Trump’s tax returns from being handed over to a New York prosecutor, according to AP News.
Trump fought hard to keep his financial records from being turned over with arguments that hinged on the subpoena being issued in bad faith, according to CNN. Now that he has been ruled against, Vance’s office is likely to receive the reports within a few days.
The case was filed in the Supreme Court months ago, with the last brief filed on Oct. 19, but the court waited to issue its ruling until after Trump lost re-election, challenged those results and then left office, according to AP News.
The former president’s tax returns were subpoenaed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who has been investigating Trump since 2019. Mazars, the accounting firm that has worked for Trump and his businesses, had been willing to turn over the returns, but Trump sued to prevent them from doing so. Now that the court has declined to step in on Trump’s behalf, Vance can enforce the subpoena and continue the investigation, AP News said.
The subpoena asked for more than eight years of Trump’s tax records, both personal and corporate. Prosecutors said in a court briefing that they were justified in subpoenaing the tax returns because of potential criminal activity by the Trump Organization. Among the issues being investigated are cases of hush money paid to women Trump allegedly had affairs with, AP News reported.
Though the tax returns are being turned over to the DA’s office, they are still not going to be released to the public due to grand jury secrecy rules. Despite this, it is still a major loss for the president, according to CNN.
Trump blasted prosecutors in a statement and said the “Supreme Court never should have let this ‘fishing expedition’ happen, but they did,” AP News wrote. The records contain more than just Trump’s federal tax returns; financial statements, auditor’s reports and other types of financial documents will also be included, as well as communications between Trump’s representatives and Mazars.
The records can give the prosecutors information about whether Trump had lied to lenders or tax officials, both before and after he became president. They will be looking through the paperwork for discrepancies. Claims have been made of Trump overvaluing his assets and committing fraud, continued AP News.
This ruling, and the investigation into Trump’s finances, could prevent him from securing the Republican nomination again in 2024, according to The Guardian.