Speed Reads

Trump Taxes

What happens next in New York's criminal investigation of Trump and his business

The Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for New York City prosecutors to obtain eight years of former President Donald Trump's tax filings and, equally importantly, the business records and communications between the Trump Organization and its accounting firm, Mazars USA, that should provide important context and fill in gaps.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office, which has been investigating potential financial crimes by Trump and his business for two years, is appropriately tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation. But we do know "Vance has assembled a large team of investigators, including from outside the district attorney's office, who are expected to begin picking apart the tax records immediately once they are obtained" from Mazars, presumably this week, The Washington Post reports.

Vance's team is investigating possible bank, insurance, and tax fraud, The Wall Street Journal reports, and they are specifically looking at several of Trump's high-profile Manhattan properties, including Trump Tower and 40 Wall St., plus his 213-acre Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, just north or New York City. Vance has already subpoenaed information from Trump's lenders, an insurer, and the New York City Tax Commission, the Journal adds. His office has interviewed employees of Deutsche Bank, one of Trump's largest lenders, The New York Times reports.

Investigators may be looking for "disparities that would show that on one hand, Trump was telling the [Internal Revenue Service] that he was completely broke and on the other hand, telling financial institutions he was extremely rich," former Manhattan prosecutor Duncan Levin tells the Journal. Obtaining loans based on purposefully false financial information can be a crime in New York State.

Once Vance's team gets Trump's financial records, they will certainly "discover a veritable how-to guide for getting rich while losing millions of dollars and paying little to no income taxes," the Times reports. "Whether they find evidence of crimes, however, will also depend on other information not found in the actual returns." The investigation will probably end with either a decision to bring charges against Trump or a finding that there's insufficient evidence, the Journal says, noting such an announcement "could be at least months away."

In the meantime, Trump also faces investigations by New York Attorney General Letitia James and prosecutors in Georgia, plus several civil lawsuits. Trump on Monday called Vance's investigation "a continuation of the greatest political witch hunt in the history of our country."