New York prosecutor investigating Trump Organization for 'possible criminal activity'

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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance laid out his reasoning for seeking Trump's business records.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a court filing on Monday that he's investigating the Trump Organization for possible bank and insurance fraud, revealing a much broader investigation into Donald Trump's finances than was previously known.

Vance is fighting to obtain eight years' worth of Trump's financial records.

Initially, it seemed that the New York County district attorney was just looking into hush money payments Trump made to a porn actress and a Playboy model during the 2016 campaign — payments that constituted campaign finance violations. One of Trump's personal lawyers, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to prison for his involvement in the payments.

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However, the district attorney's probe appears to go deeper than that, with Vance arguing that he needs Trump's personal and business financial records because he is also looking into bank and insurance fraud allegations that Cohen made against Trump during a February 2019 congressional hearing.

"As this reporting makes clear, 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 wrote in the filing. "These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct."

Trump, for his part, has been fighting Vance's attempt to subpoena his financial records in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court rejected Trump's assertion that he has blanket immunity from state criminal investigations. In a ruling last month, the court said Trump could make another argument for why he should not have to hand over the records, but a blanket immunity claim would not suffice.

In a lower court hearing after the ruling, Trump's lawyers argued that the subpoena was invalid because it was "wildly overbroad." White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Vance's subpoena was "frivolous and politically motivated."

But in Monday's filing, Vance argued that those claims are not enough to allow Trump to withhold the records, saying Trump's lawyer "merely regurgitates allegations and arguments this Court has rejected before."

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.