The ex-president of the United States suffered a severe legal defeat on Monday. The US Constitutional Court thwarted its latest attempt to withhold his tax returns from the New York prosecutor’s office.
The consequences of the judgment are still being analyzed. But the tenor in the USA is already: In the worst case, they could lead to criminal proceedings for insurance and banking fraud as well as tax evasion. The n even a prison sentence would not be ruled out. A first in the history of American presidents!
But even if there is no conviction, it could be mega-embarrassing for Trump. For example, if it turns out that he is not as rich and successful as he has repeatedly claimed …
What should also make the ex-entertainer and real estate juggler angry: Although he installed three judges in the nine-member US Supreme Court during his tenure, their judgments simply do not turn out as he wants. It is the second time that the so-called “Supreme Court” has voted against him in the case of his tax returns – and has now opened the door wide to criminal proceedings against him.
Accordingly, the “twitterless” Trump (the social network deleted his account in January) foamed in a mass e-mail to his followers. He spoke of a “fishing trip” by the prosecutor and a “never-ending witch hunt” by the Democrats. And he reiterated the claim that he won the presidential election.
Background of the judgment
It all started in 2018. At that time, New York Attorney General Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (66) set out to investigate the hush money payments allegedly made on Trump’s behalf to two women who claimed to have had affairs with him . One of them was the blonde porn star Stormy Daniels (41).
In the course of the investigation, Vance – a Democrat and vociferous Trump critic – came across other inconsistencies. He extended the investigation to possible fraud and tax evasion. The suspicion: Trump is said to have manipulated the value of his New York real estate at will.
He is said to have inflated the value when it came to getting better credit terms (lower interest rates). When it came to taxes, he is said to have casually downplayed the values …
Right in the middle of the investigation: Deutsche Bank – one of the last financial institutions that still did business with Trump after his various corporate bankruptcies and was his largest financier.
Trump still owes the bank around $ 340 million that he got for a hotel in Chicago and a golf course in Miami. Both properties are now in a crisis. According to the Washington Post, this is not so much due to the pandemic, but rather to the fact that more and more wealthy guests are avoiding Trump because of his riot presidency.
Meanwhile, Vance demanded in 2019 to view Trump’s tax returns for the past eight years. The President did not even think about it and tried to prevent this by all legal means. The argument of his lawyers, which went through all instances: The prosecution of a state should not initiate an investigation against a sitting president.
In July 2020 there was the first Trump clap from “his” constitutional court. His request was denied. A landmark judgment for all future US presidents!
“No citizen – not even the president – is categorically above the general duty to present evidence if this is required in a criminal case,” wrote Constitutional Judge JG Roberts in a comment on the judgment.
Trump still tried to keep his tax returns under lock and key. In a new lawsuit it said: The investigations of the New York Public Prosecutor’s Office had been disproportionately expanded and politically motivated. The refore, the documents should not be given to Vance – which would have meant the end of his investigation.
But instead there was now the final rejection of the constitutional court to the ex-president. And now the noose around Trump’s neck could tighten threateningly! And even his two eldest sons, Donald Jr., 41, and Eric, 37, who run the Trump Organization, could be charged.
How it goes on
Dozens of investigators and tax experts will probably knock at Trump’s tax advisor “Mazars” in the New York suburb of Westchester with search warrants and collect hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. This concerns both his personal taxes and those of his Trump organization.
In the coming weeks and months you will then work meticulously through the documents. Meanwhile, Trump’s accountancy firm announced gallantly: “We will continue to meet all of our professional and legal obligations.” Whatever that means …
Trump freaked out in a statement after the verdict. He made serious charges against his political opponents and even against the US Constitutional Court itself.
Trump railed: “Whether it was the never-ending $ 32 million Mueller hoax that was already examining everything that could be examined – ‘Russia, Russia, Russia’ – and found there was no collusion, or the two ridiculous ‘crazy Nancy’ inspired impeachment attempts that found me NOT GUILTY: It just never ends! “
The n he complained, “For more than two years, New York City has been scrutinizing almost every transaction I have ever conducted, including searching for tax returns conducted by the largest and most reputable law and accounting firms in the United States. The Supreme Court should never have allowed this fishing trip. But it did. “
No president has ever been treated like him before, he continued, pointing a finger at America’s Democrats. “ The y are ready to do whatever it takes to stop the nearly 75 million people who voted for him in 2020,” he claims.
What he did not mention: More and more conservative politicians have long since opposed him. For example, Senate minority spokesman Mitch McConnell, 78, said after Trump’s acquittal in the second impeachment trial: “ The re is no question that he is practically and morally guilty for provoking the storming of the Capitol.”
McConnell had then oracle that there were criminal and civil courts, however, that could bring the citizen Donald Trump to trial. And so District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said promptly yesterday: “Our work continues.”
Meanwhile, Trump still has a chance. Until Vance has enough evidence to file a charge, the tax records cannot be released. But in the USA it is considered likely that at least parts of it will reach the public one way or another.
It was the same last year when extracts from Trump’s tax returns were leaked to the “New York Times”. At that time it turned out: The multi-billionaire, for example, had only paid $ 750 in income tax in 2016 and 2017 …
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