It should be a decision with far-reaching consequences for Donald Trump. On Monday, the US Supreme Court issued a one-line injunction denying the former president’s attempt to deny law enforcement in New York state access to his tax and financial records. This finally clears the way for an investigation by New York Attorney General Cyrus Vance, against which Trump has been fighting for years. Vance is investigating suspected tax and write-off fraud in the millions. He announced that the investigation would now continue at full speed.
The proceedings for Trump could become explosive because the Supreme Court has not only released the official tax files of Trump and his family business for the past eight years. Rather, he also granted the New York prosecutor’s request to inspect the Trump-related documents of his tax consultancy firm.
The se include not only the data transmitted to the tax authorities, but also, for example, documents that Trump had only made available to the tax advisor. From this, the investigators expect new clues in the process.
According to previous knowledge, the prosecutors are investigating in two directions. On the one hand, they are investigating the suspicion that Trump may have knowingly set the value of his real estate too high compared to his financiers in order to get cheaper loans. At the same time, he is said to have artificially calculated the value downwards towards the tax authorities. On the other hand, they determine whether Trump has incorrectly written off millions of alleged consulting costs to the tax authorities. According to a report from the New York Times Received a total of $ 26 million in “consulting fees” between 2010 and 2018 despite being an employee of the family business at the same time.
Trump is said to have not paid any income tax in ten of the past 15 years
The newspaper had already reported on Trump’s tax documents from this time last year. According to this, the president paid just $ 750 in income tax in his first year in office in 2017. In ten of the past 15 years, Trump has evidenced by the New York Times inspected tax documents no income tax is paid. During this period he had declared hundreds of millions in losses to his company. As a result, he had received nearly $ 73 million in refunds for previously paid taxes. This transaction is being checked by the tax authorities. Should the result be negative for the ex-president, a back payment of more than 100 million dollars (including interest and possible penalties) could come to Trump.
The Chief Justice John Roberts wrote at the time: “No citizen, not even the President, is in principle released from the duty to make evidence accessible if he is called to do so in a preliminary investigation.” This was then interpreted as a direct rebuke from Trump, who had repeatedly asserted that the President of the United States was above the law in office.
The Supreme Court now ended this attempt, apparently unanimously – which means that even the conservative judges appointed by Trump did not want to take his side.
The Supreme Court “should never have allowed” this, he wrote and insulted the proceedings, as it has so often before, as “the continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in our country’s history”. He promised his followers: “I will keep fighting.”