Donald Trump and his Trump Organization on Tuesday faced a day of legal woes, a week after the former U.S. president announced he would once again run for the White House in 2024.
Supreme Court clears way to Congress for Trump tax returns
The conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court cleared the release of Trump’s tax returns to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.
Trump was the first president in four decades not to release his tax returns as he sought to keep secret the details of his wealth and the activities of his real estate company, the Trump Organization.
The committee in its request invoked a federal law that empowers its chairman to request any person’s tax returns from the tax-collecting Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Trump’s lawyers have said the committee’s real aim is to publicly expose his tax returns and unearth politically damaging information about Trump.
Trump rebuffed by judge in New York fraud lawsuit
A New York judge scheduled an October 2023 trial for the former president, three of his adult children and the Trump Organization in a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing them of fraudulently overvaluing the real estate company’s assets and Trump’s net worth.
The lawsuit accuses Trump, his company, his children Donald Jr, Eric and Ivanka and others of inflating Trump’s assets by billions of dollars in a decade of lies to banks and insurers.
The complaint seeks $250 million in damages, to stop the Trumps from running businesses in the state and to ban Trump and his company from acquiring New York real estate for five years.
Appeals court grills Trump lawyer over seized documents
Judges on a federal appeals court signaled sympathy toward the U.S. Justice Department in its bid to reverse the appointment of an independent arbiter to vet documents seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Florida home.
The department was challenging a judge’s September appointment of a “special master” to consider whether some of the documents should be walled off from an ongoing criminal investigation.
Trump lawyer James Trusty told the judges that Trump’s status as a former president made this an unusual case that required a special master’s review.
Justice Department lawyer Sopan Joshi told the court the department could find no other instance in which a judge exercised jurisdiction and effectively paused an ongoing criminal investigation when there was no evidence of an illegal search by the government.
Trump asks court to unseal search warrant affidavit
In a related development, Trump’s lawyers asked a federal judge to unseal the complete version of the affidavit that the FBI used to obtain a warrant before conducting the search. A redacted version of the affidavit was made public in August after media organizations sought its release, with sections blacked out that prosecutors said should remain secret.
The Justice Department said the redactions included information from “a broad range of civilian witnesses” as well as investigative techniques that, if disclosed, could reveal how to obstruct the investigation.
Trump’s lawyers told the judge he must be able to review the full affidavit to determine whether the department violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.