Report: Manhattan D.A. cites media reports as grounds for Trump records subpeona

The “witch hunt” has come to New York.

The New York Times reported Monday that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. appears to be investigating President Donald Trump and his businesses for “fraud” and cited media reports as evidence for his subpoena request.

New York prosecutor goes after Trump

In parallel with Congress, Vance has been trying to get Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns and other financial records, in an effort that President Donald Trump has derided in broad terms as a campaign of “harassment.”

The Times reported that in a new federal court filing Monday, Vance argued that his grand jury subpoena for eight years of Trump’s tax returns is justified by “public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”

According to the Times, Vance is looking into bank and insurance fraud, which suggests a scope of investigation that is broader than a previously known probe of hush-money payments to two women who say that they had affairs with Trump.

As evidence to support the probe, Vance cited news reports from the New York Times, including a report claiming that Trump inflated his net worth and an article citing testimony that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former friend and lawyer, gave to Congress last year claiming that Trump committed insurance fraud.

Presidential harassment

Trump’s lawyers have consistently said that subpoenas for his personal information have the sole purpose of harassing the president, and they called on the Manhattan judge to dismiss Vance’s request, saying it “amounts to harassment of the President.”

But Vance’s lawyers pushed back, accusing Trump of delay games.

“Every day that goes by is another day Plaintiff effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court,” Vance’s lawyers said.

The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of allowing Vance to access Trump’s financial records, even as they rebuked Congress’s use of the subpoena power for the same documents.

Trump reacts

Reacting to the news, Trump blasted Vance’s foray as just the latest stage of the “witch hunt” that has never let up since the first day of his presidency.

“This is just a continuation of the witch hunt. It’s Democrat stuff. They failed with Mueller. They failed with everything. They failed with Congress. They failed at every stage of the game. This has been going on for three and a half, four years,” he said.

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