The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested for the first time in a court filing on Monday that it had grounds to investigate President Trump and his businesses for tax fraud, The New York Times reported.
The filing by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s office offered a rare insight into the office’s investigation into the president and his business dealings, which has dragged on for more than two years ago.
According to the TImes, Vance “has never revealed the scope of his office’s criminal inquiry, citing grand jury secrecy. The investigation has been stalled by the fight over a subpoena that the office issued in August 2019 for eight years of the president’s tax returns. Lawyers for Mr. Trump have said the subpoena should be blocked, calling it ‘wildly overbroad’ and politically motivated. Mr. Vance responded to that argument in a carefully worded new filing that did not directly accuse Mr. Trump or any of his businesses or associates of wrongdoing and took pains to avoid disclosing details about the inquiry.”
“However, prosecutors listed news reports and public testimony that alleged misconduct by Mr. Trump and his businesses,” said the Times. “The reports, prosecutors wrote, would justify a grand jury inquiry into a range of possible crimes, including tax and insurance fraud and falsification of business records. It was the first time the office had included tax fraud among the possible areas of investigation.”
“Even if the grand jury were testing the truth of public allegations alone, such reports, taken together, fully justify the scope of the grand jury subpoena at issue in this case,” the prosecutors said in the filing.
Earlier this year, Former FBI Special Agent reminded Americans that Attorney General Bill Barr cannot stop a state prosecution. She also noted that a President Pence could not pardon Donald Trump for a state crime if he were to step down.