Both President Donald Trump and his private company are under investigation for possible tax fraud. This announcement comes after years of speculation into the president's finances, particularly since he's been the first president to not disclose his own tax returns since President Richard Nixon.
On Monday, the Manhattan district attorney's office hinted that it has been investigating Trump and his company for what it believes could be bank and insurance fraud. As the New York Times noted, this is a much broader investigation than has been eluded to in the past. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. argued in a new court filing that Trump's accountants should have to comply with a subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. Trump, meanwhile, has requested a judge rule the subpoena invalid.
Prior to this announcement, the DA's inquiry seemed to focus mostly on hush-money payments made during his presidential campaign to women who'd claimed to have affairs with Trump. Although the new filing did not directly identify the subject, they claimed that "undisputed" assertions in earlier court papers along with several news reports about the president's business practices indicated a wide legal basis for the subpoena itself. "In light of these public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization," the filing read, in part.
Earlier in July, the Supreme Court decided in a 7-2 ruling that the request by a prosecutor to see Trump's tax returns need to be provided as part of a criminal investigation was upheld. Trump's tax records are held by Mazars USA, his longtime accounting firm, and the company has said that it will comply with any court orders. There is currently no way of knowing just how much of Goya's new unofficial spokesman's tax records will actually be made public, as the majority of it will only be sent to the confidential grand-jury investigation, and likely not for several weeks.
The decision by the Court Justices isn't unprecedented, either. Both Nixon and President Bill Clinton were also the subjects of similar rulings — both of them being unanimous. The Court ruled to require Nixon to turn over White House recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor, and they allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against Clinton. Nixon eventually resigned from office as was pardoned by his successor, President Gerald Ford. Clinton, however, completed his second term as president despite being impeached by the House in 1998.