An appeals court in New York ruled today that President Donald Trump’s auditors should hand over his tax returns to prosecutors. The dispute over the president’s tax returns is likely to be heard for the second time before the US Supreme Court.
Trump has fought back with his mouth and claws to make tax returns and information about his finances public or available to the US Congress or prosecutors. The Supreme Court rejected his legal argument this summer that as president he enjoys not only immunity from prosecution but also any kind of investigation. The president could, however, file a lawsuit to stop the delivery of the data for other reasons.
The president’s lawyers then went to court to prevent his auditors from having to comply with New York prosecutors’ policies and handing over his tax returns. Prosecutors are investigating Trump’s finances, including in connection with confidential payments to two women who claim to have had sexual relations with him.
Trump’s current argument was that prosecutors demanded the evidence in bad faith and that their actions could have political roots. The lawsuit against the president’s auditors was a “stimulus” against him.
A district court rejected the president’s claim in August, and the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the decision today. The court dismissed the case altogether, which means that Trump cannot file another lawsuit with the same legal arguments, according to the AP news agency. However, the legal effect of the district court’s decision was postponed to give Trump the opportunity to appeal the case further.
Evidence of tax evasion and possible misconduct
Even if Trump did not appeal the decision, it is unlikely that more information about his tax returns will be made public before the election in early November. The prosecutors also demand that the documents be submitted to the prosecution, but their work is confidential.
Trump’s finances have been highly secretive, but there have been indications that he has evaded large sums of tax over the years. Thus, the Trump family seems to have taken the money of the president’s parents to him and his siblings by twists and turns to avoid inheritance tax in their time.
The New York Times reported last month that Trump’s tax reports revealed that he had paid only $ 750, or more than $ 100,000, in income tax to the federal government a year as president. He did not pay any income tax for eleven of the eighteen years that the data covered. The explanation was a huge loss that Trump gave up on the operations of his companies that enabled him to avoid paying taxes.
Prosecutors in New York have said little about their investigation into Trump’s finances. However, there are indications that they are investigating whether Trump and his company have broken the law by giving investors, banks, and authorities misleading information about their position.
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