President And Trump Organization Could Face Criminal Tax Charges In Manhattan

VIDEO — Trump Fights Back in Fiery CPAC Speech

( Could President Donald Trump be facing criminal charges in Manhattan? According to a court filing from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office on Monday, the answer is yes.

The filing, which came from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, said they could be pursuing criminal charges against the president and his Trump Organization for potential insurance and bank fraud.

The DA’s office is seeking records and tax returns for Trump from the last eight years. The filing argued that a federal appeals court should allow those documents to be obtained.

The investigation apparently is into payments made as hush money to two different women who claimed they had affairs with the president in the past. Trump has denied both of those claims.

Lawyers for the president have said the subpoena from the Manhattan DA is “overbroad” and was issued “in bad faith.”

According to Vance’s Monday filing, news reports that have covered the Trump Organization potentially covering up and misrepresenting the value of properties the business owns justify the subpoena.

The filing claims that the Trump Organization and Trump himself may have broken New York state laws if the organization made misstatements about properties they owned to insurers, lenders, tax authorities and/or business partners. Potential crimes include insurance fraud, falsification of business records, scheme to defraud and criminal tax fraud.

In the filing, Vance said the scope “of the subpoena is moderate when compared to the temporal scope of misconduct alleged in public reports.”

It continued:

“The New York Times reported that Appellant engaged in ‘dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud’ and that he ‘helped his parents dodge taxes’ by ‘set[ting] up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts’ and undervaluing assets.”

Over the summer, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump doesn’t have an absolute right as president to immunity. This means his financial records and tax records could be subject to a subpoena from a state prosecutor, even while he was still a sitting president in the White House.

That being said, the high court did rule that Trump could challenge the subpoena in a lower federal court on other grounds. To this point, he and his team of lawyers have done just that.

Last month, Trump’s lawyers presented new arguments intended to block Vance’s subpoena, but a federal judge in Manhattan rejected those arguments. Trump’s team appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. That court is scheduled to begin hearing the appeal this Friday.

The outcome of Friday’s hearing will determine the next step in this prolonged court battle. It’s likely that no matter how the Court of Appeals rules in the case, the decision is likely to be appealed yet again to a higher court.

This cat-and-mouse game that’s been going on between Vance’s office and the Trump Organization isn’t likely to end anytime soon, even with another decision from a federal appeals court to be handed down in the near future.