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Manhattan DA Reveals Surprise on Trump Inquiry

It goes beyond hush-money payments into allegations of business fraud
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2020 1:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Manhattan prosecutor's investigation into President Trump and his family company is bigger than realized. Until Monday, it was widely believed that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance was looking only at hush-money payments made to two women during the 2016 campaign, reports the New York Times. But in a court filing, Vance suggested he was also looking into allegations of bank and insurance fraud. This came to light amid a fight to obtain eight years of Trump’s tax returns. Vance told a judge Monday that he was justified in demanding them, citing public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization," per the AP. Trump's lawyers last month said the grand jury subpoena for the tax returns was issued in bad faith and amounted to harassment of the president.

In their response Monday, attorneys for Vance said Trump's arguments that the subpoena was too broad stemmed from “the false premise” that the probe was limited to the hush-money payments. "This Court is already aware that this assertion is fatally undermined by undisputed information in the public record,” Vance’s lawyers wrote. They said public reporting demonstrates that at the time the 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.” The lawyers urged Judge Victor Marrero to swiftly reject Trump's arguments, saying the baseless claims were threatening the investigation. Marrero, who ruled against Trump last year, has scheduled arguments to be fully submitted by mid-August.

(Read more President Trump stories.)

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