The United States Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the Manhattan District Attorney to obtain eight years of federal tax returns from former President Donald J. Trump and other documents from his accountants. The ruling ended a long legal battle over prosecutors’ access to information.
However, whether prosecutors find evidence of crimes will also depend on other information that is not in actual statements.
Last year, The New York Times provided a snapshot of what to expect for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. when he obtained and analyzed decades of tax data for Mr. Trump and his businesses. The tax records offer an unprecedented and highly detailed look into the Byzantine world of Mr. Trump’s finances, which he simultaneously brags about and has sought to keep a secret for years.
The Times’ review showed the former president reported hundreds of millions of dollars in business losses, spent years without paying federal income tax, and was facing an Internal Revenue Service audit. ‘a $ 72.9 million tax refund he claimed ten years ago.
Among other things, records revealed that Mr. Trump had paid only $ 750 in federal taxes in his first year as president and no income tax in 10 of the previous 15 years. They also showed that he wrote off $ 26 million in “consulting fees” as a business expense between 2010 and 2018, some of which appears to have been paid to his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, while she was employee of the Trump organization.
The legitimacy of the fees, which reduced Mr. Trump’s taxable income, has since become a subject of Mr. Vance’s investigation, as well as a separate civil investigation by Letitia James, the New York attorney general. Ms James and Mr Vance are Democrats, and Mr Trump has sought to portray the multiple investigations as politically motivated, while denying any wrongdoing.