What NY prosecutors could learn from Trump's tax records
NEW YORK (AP) — District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. from Manhattan has been struggling for a year and half to get access to the tax records of former President Donald Trump.
Thanks to the United States now.
He will shortly get them, the Supreme Court decision.
So what does that say about Trump's corporate probe by the Democrat?
Former prosecutors said that the document trove could provide authorities with additional resources to figure out if Trump lied to lenders or tax officials before or after he took office.
"Prosecutors look for paperwork inconsistencies.
If Trump tells the IRS he broke and lenders, for instance, that he is wealthy, it is just a disparity they might create a case," said Duncan Levin, a retired federal prosecutor who was the head of asset forfeiture in Vance in a wide spectrum of white collar crimes.
"These papers are a very important piece of the puzzle," Levin said.
It remains unclear if Trump's documents provide evidence of a felony.
For years, the former president has maintained that he did not break law and was wrongly persecuted for political purposes by democrats.
This is a glimpse at where the tax reports can be useful and where they can aid less in the prosecution of the District Attorney:
More Returns than Correct
Trump wasted extraordinary time keeping his federal income tax records from being made available, but they are not the only important records found in this traffic.
The accounting firm of Trump, Mazars USA, can not only submit a final edition of Trump's tax returns, but also draft the returns and the company's "any statement of financial status, annual accounts, periodic financial reports and independent auditors' reports."
Adam D. Citron, a retired public prosecutor and associate with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, claims that this may give state attorneys a "open book" on Trump's finances.
"Truly this is the sink of the kitchen."
Reviewing these other records could be critical in deciding why Trump or his firms provided separate reports on his profits to tax authorities than to other officials such as banks and corporate associates.
Since the district attorney launched his probe, one of the first summonses submitted to the Trump Organisation demanded evidence from Trump's former counsel Michael Cohen regarding settlements, arranged for women who appeared to have had sexual contact with Trump.
Cohen told Trump's business that Trump was subsequently reimbursed to adult film star Stormy Daniels for one of these fees, covering it in the form of a legal bill.
However, it is not clear if the tax returns of Trump would add a great deal to that aspect of the investigation.
The New York Times, which collected Trump's years of tax records, wrote that it included "no new disclosures" regarding Daniels' payments and did not have any itemized Cohen payments.
The district attorney office prosecuted some of Trump's tax-reduction arrangements.
Return data may be necessary to determine whether any of these maneuvers have crossed legal boundaries.
One of the breaks under discussion is that Trump was given to the Conservation Trust to donate part of his Seven Springs farm, north of New York.
Some analysts have wondered whether Trump overestimated the land to get a bigger break than he deserved.
Investigators have also cited a number of records pertaining to the land agreement and obtained them.
In California, Trump learned from a related environmental donation.
The office of Vance did not reveal the exact scope of its investigation.
But in legal filings lawyers pointed to news stories asking whether Trump's riches have been chronically inflated by banks and insurance providers.
Last month the Associated Press claimed that the office of Vance recently interrogated Cohen for hours and questioned him about Trump's relationship with the Deutsche Bank, the main and longest running shareholder, among other items.
A story from Washington Post, quoted by the prosecutors, explained how the number of home lots for sale in a California golf course, the acreage at one of its vineyards, and the number of Trump Tower stories inflationed, excluding information about the debts in its hotel projects in Chicago and Las Vegas.
Tax documents can only be used by investigators to verify if any of the claims were deception.
"They'll look at valuations and property values," said Citron of the lawyers.
"They will look at the lawyers' accounts to see for what their costs were."
The decision of Monday does not guarantee that the nation sees Trump's financial reports.
They are currently covered by the rules on the confidentiality of the grand jury.
And where proceedings are made, these papers are probably heavily drawn up if they are filed in the record.
"Still then, I'm sure there will be tons of litigation on this," said Citron.