A prosecutor in the New York district of Manhattan is investigating U.S. President Donald Trump and his company in connection with alleged bank and insurance fraud. This is suggested in court documents. According to District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the case involves “potentially large-scale and long-term criminal behavior” at the Trump Organization.
Vance suggests that the suspicion was one of the reasons a so-called grand jury claimed Trump’s tax returns. This is a jury of citizens who, under U.S. criminal law, are authorized to conduct legal proceedings, investigate possible criminal behavior, and determine whether criminal prosecution should be instituted.
The jury wants Trump’s personal tax returns and those of the Trump Organization of the last eight years on the table. The president opposes that. According to Trump’s attorneys, demanding the tax returns goes too far and would be “in bad faith”.
“Investigating payments of silent money”
Prosecutor Vance responded to those accusations with his statements about the investigation. According to him, there are “public allegations of possible criminal behavior” by the Trump Organization. According to Vance, Trump’s defense that claiming tax returns goes too far is “based on the erroneous assumption that the investigation is merely payments of silent money”.
Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen confessed in 2018 that in 2016 he paid silent money on Trump’s behalf to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who, in return, had to remain silent about her sexual relations with the married Trump. In doing so, Cohen violated election laws.
Vance’s spokesperson doesn’t want to comment on the court documents. What a grand jury discusses is strictly secret. Trump responded to the submitted documents by saying that they are part of a “witch hunt” against him.