Donald Trump suffered a major setback on Monday in his long quest to conceal details of his finances as the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain the former president’s tax returns and other records as part of an accelerating criminal investigation, Reuters informed.
The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the Republican businessman-turned-politician’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.
“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.
Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.
A Mazars spokesman said the company was aware of the court’s action and “remains committed to fulfilling all of our professional and legal obligations.” A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Supreme Court’s action, coming soon after Vance’s hiring of a prominent lawyer with deep experience in white-collar and organized-crime cases, could boost the district attorney’s investigation into Trump’s family real-estate company, the Trump Organization, following a flurry of recent subpoenas.
Reuters reported on Friday that Vance’s office had subpoenaed a New York City property tax agency as part of the investigation, suggesting prosecutors are examining Trump’s efforts to reduce his commercial real-estate taxes for possible evidence of fraud.
The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the subpoena dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.
Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the Trump Organization’s activities.
Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning personal and business conduct.