Last July, judges unanimously rejected Trump’s blanket claims that he was absolutely immune from state and local criminal investigations while he was president. However, the ruling allowed Trump to pursue further arguments against a high-profile subpoena served on the Trump organization in August 2019.
A federal appeals court dismissed these arguments in October 2020, prompting Trump’s lawyers to run for the Supreme Court again. A deal with Vance put the fight on hold while the judges considered Trump’s suspension request.
The precise outlines of Vance’s investigation remain uncertain, but it appears to center on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s claims that the company manipulated real estate appraisals in order to maximize collateral for loans and minimize collateral. property taxes. Cohen also claimed that Trump had committed fraud in his dealings with insurance companies. Trump and the Trump organization have denied the allegations.
The move is investigators’ first breakthrough in gaining access to Trump’s financial records after numerous attempts by House Democrats and debates among federal investigators who worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The House searched for Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm, Mazars USA, as well as one of Trump’s major creditors, Deutsche Bank. But these cases have been stuck in court for years, with no end in sight.
The House is still considering whether to seek Trump’s records from Mazars, a fight it launched in April 2019, now that he has stepped down.
The decision landed as President Joe Biden’s attorney general candidate Merrick Garland was faced with questions from senators in a confirmation hearing. One of the trickier challenges Garland faces is how to approach issues related to the former president. But Vance’s investigation is the most developed case against Trump and the most serious legal threat to the ex-president.