President Donald Trump has accused Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. of breaking the law by trying to obtain his tax returns in what he called an “interference in a presidential election.” The president’s allegations come after the Supreme Court rejected his attempt to block the prosecutor’s subpoena for the records.
In a tweet, Trump accused Vance of being politically motivated and of pursuing his tax returns for political reasons. He argued that if Vance had been genuinely interested in financial crimes, he would have sought the tax returns of his political opponent Joe Biden.
The president’s accusations have been condemned by legal experts and commentators, who argue that the Manhattan DA is acting within the law and the Constitution. They argue that the president has no legal basis to claim that the subpoena is an attempt to interfere in the election, given that the Supreme Court has already rejected his appeal and ordered him to comply.
The dispute between Trump and Vance began in 2018 when the DA’s office launched an investigation into the president’s finances as part of an ongoing probe into hush money payments made to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. The investigation also reportedly includes allegations of fraud, tax evasion, and insurance fraud.
Trump has refused to release his tax returns for years despite widespread calls for him to do so. He has claimed that the returns are under audit and that he cannot release them until the audit is completed. However, no law requires Trump to keep his tax returns private during an audit, and the IRS has said publicly that the audit does not prevent him from releasing them.
The president’s accusations against Vance come amid growing public scrutiny over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest. Trump has faced criticism for downplaying the virus, refusing to mandate masks, and holding massive rallies despite widespread outbreaks. He has also been criticized for escalating tensions with protesters and for his response to the killing of George Floyd and other black Americans by police.
The president’s allegations against Vance are likely to intensify the political turmoil gripping the country in the run-up to the November election. Trump’s willingness to challenge the judiciary and accuse a prosecutor of breaking the law raises serious questions about his commitment to democracy and the rule of law.
As legal experts have pointed out, there is no legal basis for Trump’s allegations, and his attempt to politicize the investigation into his finances is a dangerous attack on the rule of law. The Supreme Court’s decision to reject his appeal and allow Vance to obtain his tax returns is a significant victory for accountability and transparency, and a signal that no one is above the law, including the president of the United States.