Trump Probe Not Limited to Stormy Daniels Payment, Manhattan D.A. Says
(Bloomberg) -- Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. made his clearest statement yet that a grand jury probe into Donald Trump goes beyond investigating 2016 payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Vance on Friday again urged U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero to reject Trump’s latest challenge to a subpoena seeking his tax filings and other records from the president’s accountants at Mazars USA.
In part of the filing, lawyers for Vance wrote that Trump has had ample “notice” that “the investigation was not limited to Cohen’s 2016 payments.”
The case is back before Marrero after the U.S. Supreme Court last month rejected Trump’s argument that he’s immune to the state criminal investigation. In a new complaint filed after that decision, the president called for the subpoenas to be tossed as “wildly overbroad.” He claims the investigation is limited to the hush payments made by his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump, and that Vance is seeking unrelated evidence to harass the president.
The prosecutor has avoided saying publicly what the grand jury is investigating, but on Friday he pointed to public news articles about a widening probe and said “it is not plausible to speculate, let alone infer, that the grand jury investigation was limited to Cohen’s 2016 payments.”
Trump’s lawyers didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment on Vance’s court filings Friday. Trump denies having had an affair with Daniels.
Accusing the prosecutor of acting in bad faith, Trump’s lawyers have asked the judge to let them inquire into the grand jury probe and the bases for the subpoena. Vance opposed that effort in a letter to Marrero on Friday, calling the request “speculative and premature.”.
Earlier this month Vance’s office suggested it was looking into possible bank fraud and insurance fraud at the Trump Organization, citing news reports that Trump inflated his wealth to get loans and classified hush payments as legal expenses.
“At the time the Mazars subpoena was issued, there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade,” Vance said in an Aug. 3. court filing.
The case is Trump v. Vance, 19-cv-08694, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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