The US Supreme Court has inflicted a major defeat on Donald Trump by rejecting his attempt to keep his tax returns secret. The prosecution now has access.
Trump calls the investigation in New York, where prosecutors are now seeing his tax returns, “a continuation of the largest political witch hunt in our country’s history.”
– The Supreme Court should never have let this “fishing trip” happen, but they did, he says in a statement after Monday’s ruling.
In recent years, Trump has fought on many fronts to be able to shield his revenue ratios for all government agencies. Among those who have demanded that the tax returns be handed over is public prosecutor Cyrus Vance in Manhattan, New York.
Taxes and insurance
Vance, who is a Democrat, has since 2019 tried to get hold of Trump’s tax returns in connection with an investigation.
The charges against the former president and the real estate mogul are currently unclear, but according to The New York Times, court documents indicate that he is being investigated for tax and insurance crimes.
Last fall, a federal appeals court gave the green light for the prosecution in New York to have access to the then president’s tax returns. Trump’s lawyers appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, but on Monday it became clear that they did not win. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal without any comment.
This means that a preliminary end is being drawn for a long legal tug of war that has already been heard by the Supreme Court once earlier in the process.
But that does not mean that tax information is published to everyone.
At the prosecution in New York, these documents will be part of a broader investigation of Trump’s financial dispositions and for a long time affect his life as a former president.
– Fishing trip
The president’s lawyers have argued that the request for access is to be regarded as political harassment and that the demand is too extensive. The Supreme Court has chosen to disregard this.
Trump received a lot of attention when he broke with a long-standing tradition during the 2016 election campaign and refused to give the public access to his tax information. It also created speculation as to whether Trump had anything to hide.
Leaks during the election campaign
Prior to last year’s presidential election, The New York Times published several articles based on a leak about Trump’s tax returns. Among the revelations was that Trump had only paid 750 dollars (almost 6,500 kroner) in federal income tax in 2016. This was partly due to the fact that he had listed huge losses as write-downs.
The newspaper also wrote that Trump did not pay income tax for 10 of the 15 years before he was elected president.
Trump himself called the revelations false news.
– I have paid a lot, and I have also paid a lot of taxes at the state level. They only write negative stories, Trump’s comment read.
Vance’s investigation is underway behind closed doors in front of a grand jury. It is unclear whether it will lead to prosecution, which in that case will be the first time for a former US president.
On Monday, the website Axios announced that Trump next weekend will announce that he will be the Republicans’ “assumed” candidate in 2024.
Trump is potentially facing several legal challenges after he was acquitted in the Senate Supreme Court case on charges that he incited the storming of Congress on January 6.
The Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, belonged to the minority that secured acquittal, but he also said that Trump as a civilian is responsible for everything he did as president.
Earlier in February, Georgia prosecutors opened an investigation into “attempts to influence” the state presidential election.
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