Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance issued the subpoena last month when his office began investigating hush money payments Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels, a woman who claimed to have had an affair with the president.
What We Know:
- The president’s tax returns have been long sought after. He is the first president in decades who has not publicly released his tax documents. Many attempts have been made to obtain these records. In July, the House Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury Department and the IRS after they were denied access to Trump’s records. The president’s lawyers have lengthened the process by taking legal action to counter the lawsuit.
- The latest attempt to obtain the tax documents is zeroing in on the $130,000 Trump’s lawyer paid to Stormy Daniels, formally known as Stephanie Clifford, in exchange for her silence concerning her alleged affair with the president. The payment was made before the 2016 election. Cohen was reimbursed for the amount he paid Daniels.
- The New York Times first reported news of the subpoena stating that Vance’s investigation aims to determine whether the Trump Organization falsely accounted for the reimbursements as a legal expense, which is potentially a felony offense in New York.
- The subpoena was issued to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, requesting his personal and corporate tax returns from 2011-2019. Unlike other subpoenas requesting the returns, this one was issued by a grand jury in a criminal investigation.
- If a crime was committed, it wouldn’t be the first time Trump’s campaign was involved in shady business deals. Just last year, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after he pled guilty to breaking federal campaign finance laws.
- Marc Mukasey, a Trump Organization attorney, released a statement on the subpoena saying, “We are reviewing and will respond as appropriate.”
We will continue to follow this investigation.