Now that the Supreme Court has made it clear that Donald Trump can no longer avoid handing over eight years of his tax returns to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., many people are wondering what might be contained in those documents. But it turns out the tax returns are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Vance will be getting.
Andrew Weissmann, the former senior prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, noted on MSNBC that there are lots of other goodies that Vance is about to have in his possession, and those could wind up being what sends Trump to prison for a long time:
“It will be the taxes and all accounting records. It will be whatever the Mazars have, which should be a wealth of information, internal emails, communications with the Trump Organization, accounting spreadsheets, all sorts of notations as to how they’re valuing things. And mechanically what happens is the Manhattan D.A.’s office calls up and says, ‘Okay, now that this has been decided, you need to turn them over by X date.’”
Mazars is a reference to Mazars USA, the accounting firm that has prepared Trump’s taxes for many years. And the Associated Press reports that Mazars has lots of potentially damaging information:
“The Mazars subpoena also sought engagement agreements that define the accountants’ role in creating the tax returns and financial statements; source documents providing the accountants with raw financial data; and work papers and communications between the firm and Trump representatives. Those would include communications showing how the raw data was analyzed and treated in the preparation of the records.
“That could give state prosecutors an ‘open book’ into Trump’s finances, said Adam D. Citron, a former state prosecutor and partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron. ‘It’s really the kitchen sink.'”
That “kitchen sink,” Weissmann told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, will be especially useful to the Manhattan DA:
“The Mazars can hardly say we haven’t had any notice. They have to have this all ready to go. And they literally can either send over a hard drive, or they can just sometimes press a button, and it, you know, millions of pages get produced to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. And I have been in that position, and you basically spend a lot of nights dividing things up and reviewing things because this is really, could be the actual key to whether you can or cannot make a case.”
The case is being made, as Vance himself made reference to when he sent out this tweet on Monday:
The work continues. That’s got to be a terrifying prospect for Donald Trump.
Here’s Andrew Weissmann on MSNBC: