Manhattan DA Has Subpoenaed 8 Years of Trump's Tax Returns

It remains unclear why the Manhattan DA wants to see Trump’s tax returns.
September 16, 2019, 7:51pm

WASHINGTON — Manhattan’s District Attorney subpoenaed eight years of President Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns from his longtime accounting firm, The New York Times reported Monday.

The move represents yet another attempt to unearth Trump’s taxes, which he’s long held secret, as well as a fresh legal onslaught by Manhattan’s combative DA, Cy Vance, who’s shown a willingness to target Trump and his inner circle in high-profile national cases.

“We’re reviewing the issue and will respond as appropriate,” Marc Mukasey, Trump Org lawyer, told VICE News by phone on Monday, when asked about the Times report. He declined to further comment.

Manhattan DA’s office sent the subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, last month, The New York Times reported without naming its sources.

The new records request follows a subpoena by Vance’s office to the Trump Organization earlier last month for records of payments to women claiming they slept with Trump before the 2016 election. In August, Mukasey blasted that move as “a political hit job” and “just harassment of the President, his family, and his business, using subpoenas and leaks as weapons.”

It remains unclear why the Manhattan DA wants to see Trump’s tax returns. The office is reportedly investigating whether the Trump Organization may have falsified any business records in connection with the payments, which would be illegal in New York State.

While violating that law alone would be a relatively small-time misdemeanor, an investigation into whether the Trump Org potentially cooked its own books during the hush-money payment saga could be just the start of Vance’s inquiry into Trump’s business.

Keeping false business records would rise from a misdemeanor to a felony if it can be proved that the motive was to conceal another crime, such as tax or bank fraud.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan DA’s office declined to comment. The subpoena was also confirmed by CNN and NBC News shortly after the NYT story appeared.

Vance’s office is seeking both federal and state tax returns for the president and his company dating back to 2011, the Times said.

A Mazars representative declined to confirm or deny receiving the subpoena.

“Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations,” the company told VICE News in an email. “As a matter of firm policy and professional rules we do not comment on the work we conduct for our clients.”

House Democrats have also subpoenaed six years’ worth of Trump’s tax returns from the Treasury Department. But their request has been bogged down in a legal challenge from Trump that could easily drag on past the 2020 election, if not much longer.

Cover: President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)