Investigators in New York and the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives have several inquiries that will continue well into the presidential campaign. Their focus touches an area that Trump has long tried to shield from scrutiny: his finances.
Oral arguments are set for March and a decision will come by June. Behind the scenes investigators are continuing to collect evidence and interview witnesses, but major decisions are unlikely until the justices decide whether investigators can review the President’s financial and tax records — putting the outcome of investigations on a collision course with the 2020 election.
The case that may pose the biggest legal threat to Trump’s company is the criminal investigation led by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The DA’s office is investigating whether the President and the Trump Organization violated state laws in connection with hush money payments made to women alleging affairs with Trump. The investigation is looking into whether business records filed with the state were falsified and if any tax laws were violated, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The criminal investigation goes beyond those payments, according to prosecutors, who redacted several paragraphs in court filings describing the scope of the inquiry. On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office asked the DA to investigate discrepancies revealed in a ProPublica article about the information the Trump Organization told tax authorities and lenders about its business.
NY attorney general
In March 2019, New York’s Attorney General launched a civil investigation into Trump’s funding of several commercial projects. The probe was prompted by Cohen’s congressional testimony in which he alleged that Trump inflated his assets.
Deutsche Bank, which has loaned more than $300 million to the Trump Organization according to Trump’s financial disclosures and other public filings, is one of the only large global banks that would do business with the family.
The Democrat-led House Intelligence, Financial Services and Oversight Committees kicked off investigations into Trump and his finances early last year as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election was wrapping up.
Lawmakers have said their inquiry is broad and is looking at everything from the President’s financial interests with foreign governments to whether anti-money laundering laws or federal ethics laws need to be tightened.
For its part, the Intelligence Committee’s time has been absorbed by the impeachment inquiry into Trump.