Findings, music, and occasional reflections by Paul Woodward

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The Supreme Court is still sitting on Trump’s tax returns, and justices aren’t saying why

CNN reports:

Lawsuits involving Donald Trump tore apart the Supreme Court while he was president, and the justices apparently remain riven by him.

For nearly four months, the court has refused to act on emergency filings related to a Manhattan grand jury’s subpoena of Trump tax returns, effectively thwarting part of the investigation.

The Supreme Court’s inaction marks an extraordinary departure from its usual practice of timely responses when the justices are asked to block a lower court decision on an emergency basis and has spurred questions about what is happening behind the scenes.

Chief Justice John Roberts, based on his past pattern, may be trying to appease dueling factions among the nine justices, to avoid an order that reinforces a look of partisan politics. Yet paradoxically, the unexplained delay smacks of politics and appears to ensnarl the justices even more in the controversies of Trump.

The Manhattan investigation, led by District Attorney Cyrus Vance, continues to draw extensive public attention. The grand jury is seeking Trump personal and business records back to 2011. Part of the probe involves hush-money payments Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to cover up alleged affairs. (Trump has denied those allegations.) [Continue reading…]

The New York Times reports:

As the Manhattan district attorney’s office steps up the criminal investigation of Donald J. Trump, it has reached outside its ranks to enlist a prominent former federal prosecutor to help scrutinize financial dealings at the former president’s company, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

The former prosecutor, Mark F. Pomerantz, has deep experience investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases, bolstering the team under District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that is examining Mr. Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization.

The investigation by Mr. Vance, a Democrat, is focused on possible tax and bank-related fraud, including whether the Trump Organization misled its lenders or local tax authorities about the value of his properties to obtain loans and tax benefits, the people with knowledge of the matter said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation. Mr. Trump has maintained he did nothing improper and has long railed against the inquiry, calling it a politically motivated “witch hunt.” [Continue reading…]

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