2019-09-17 10:35:271 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
At this point, whatever Donald Trump is hiding in his tax returns has to be something very, very damning. He's been resisting releasing his returns for three years now. At this point he's not just refusing, he's ignoring subpoenas, multiple subpoenas from different sources.
Trump started defying demands for his tax returns when still the Republican presidential nominee. Once the Democrats took charge of the House at the beginning of this year, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) started trying to get Trump to turn them over. He has been repeatedly blocked.
The New York State Senate passed legislation that would allow the release of Trump's state tax returns to congressional committees. Trump countered with a lawsuit for a temporary restraining order. He was allowed to refile for a change in district.
After a Federal employee made "credible allegations" to Neal's committee that there was potentially wrongful interference with the IRS's presidential audit process, attorneys for the House Democrats filed and asked for a judge to demand the Treasury Department turn over the tax returns. This was request was denied.
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office has turned up the heat on this fight. The office subpoenaed eight years of Trump's tax returns from Trump's longtime accounting firm Mazars USA. The Trump Organization also uses the same firm.
This is an effort to investigate the hush-money payments that were made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to remain quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump to ensure he would be elected, making them campaign finance violations.
The president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen is currently serving three years for taking part in that crime as well as other crimes. Trump and the Trump Organization reimbursed him for the $130,000 he paid to Daniels.
Last month the DA's office sent subpoenas to the Trump Organization and American Media Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, that was involved in the payout to McDougal.
Prosecutors are probing whether the Trump Organization filed any false business records to account for the reimbursement of the payments to Cohen.
While Trump has been able to control Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin into protecting his information, he doesn't seem to have the same pull with his accounting firm.
"Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations," said the firm in a statement.
"We believe strongly in the ethical and professional rules and regulations that govern our industry, our work, and our client interactions. As a matter of firm policy and professional rules, we do not comment on the work we conduct for our clients."
Trump Organization attorney Marc Mukasey said, "We are evaluating and will respond as appropriate."
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