Thursday, August 6, 2020

Manhattan DA expands investigation into Trump's defunct charity

In a recently released court filing, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said that the prosecutor has expanded the inquiry into President Trump’s now defunct charity beyond the original claims of illegal hush money payments and is investigating other potential criminal actions.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been investigating claims since 2018 that Trump used funds from his private charity, the Trump Organization, to pay women with whom the President had extramarital affairs in exchange for their agreement not to publicly speak of the affairs. The President argued that the subpoenas issued by the office for his personal tax returns and those of his charity were illegal, an argument which the Supreme Court rejected in July. 

Following the Supreme Court decision, Trump’s attorneys amended their complaint at the District Court, arguing instead that the subpoenas sought by Vance were improper because of “overbreadth” and “in bad faith” because the records sought date from before the alleged hush money payments were made.

In the response to the amended complaint, Vance stated that allegations of further wrongdoing at the Trump Organization have been “public knowledge” and widely reported by media and therefore the subpoenas are not overbroad. In particular, the response cited numerous articles in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal to illustrate that potential illegal activity at the charity was not limited to the hush money payments.

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