By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump suffered a major setback Monday in his long quest to hide details of his finances when the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain the statements of Tax and other records as part of a criminal investigation. The justices without comment rejected Trump’s request to stay an Oct. 7 lower court ruling ordering the accounting firm of Republican businessman-turned-politician Mazars USA to comply with a subpoena to deliver the materials to a grand jury. summoned by Manhattan. District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Democrat. “Work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court action. Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the judges rejected Trump’s request. A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority that includes three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, rejecting Trump’s broad argument last July that he was immune from criminal investigations as president. in functions. Unlike all other recent US presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to release his tax returns. The data could provide details about his estate and the activities of his family’s real estate company, the Trump Organization. Trump, who left office on January 20 after being defeated in his November 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face a number of legal problems related to his personal and business conduct. Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s attorneys sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations. The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments, but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers later argued in lower courts that the subpoena was too broad and amounted to political harassment, but US District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit con The New York-based headquarters in October rejected those claims. Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on the secret money payments that former lawyer and repairman for then-President Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women: the film actress for adult Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. who said they had sexual encounters with Trump. “The Supreme Court has now proclaimed that no one is above the law. Trump, for the first time, will have to take responsibility for his own dirty deeds,” Cohen said in a statement issued after the Supreme Court announced its action. On Monday, the court separately rejected Daniels’ attempt to revive his own libel lawsuit against Trump. In recent court filings, Vance suggested that the investigation is now broader and could focus on possible bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records. In separate litigation, the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives sought to enforce subpoenas on similar records. In July, the Supreme Court returned the matter to the lower courts for review.
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