A grand jury has been formed to determine whether the Manhattan prosecutor’s file on Donald Trump and his group can warrant a trial, several US media reported on Tuesday. A spokesman for prosecutor Cyrus Vance declined to comment. For Donald Trump, now living in Florida, this new development is “the continuation of the biggest witch hunt in the history of the United States”, reacted the former head of state, in a statement.
According to Washington Post, the jurors were recently selected and will meet three days a week for six months to examine the documents in the case. In American criminal law, significant cases are often referred by the prosecution to a grand jury, made up of people from civil society, such as jurors in a regular trial. The grand jury examines the file in secret and may also request additional documents or to hear one or more witnesses.
Gongler assets, undervalue tax returns
At the end of the examination, it determines, by majority, but not necessarily unanimously, whether there is grounds for indictment, preamble to a trial. The constitution of the grand jury indicates that prosecutor Vance believes he has enough evidence to go to trial. Cyrus Vance, whose term ends at the end of December, has been investigating possible accounting manipulations since 2019 by the Trump Organization, Donald Trump’s holding company which manages all of its interests.
The Manhattan prosecutor is primarily looking to determine whether the group artificially inflated the value of its assets to get larger loans and, at the same time, dumped them in its tax returns to lower its taxes. The investigation also looks at the compensation of key executives of the Trump Organization, according to the Washington Post. If it is indeed for Cyrus Vance to obtain an indictment, it is not established that it is Donald Trump himself. It could target the Trump Organization as a legal person or collaborators of the former US president within this holding.
Trump’s famous tax returns in the case
Among the documents assembled by Cyrus Vance are Donald Trump’s eight-year tax returns, from 2011 to 2018, which were fought hard after eighteen months of legal battle. New York State Attorney Letitia James launched her own investigations into the Trump Organization. Last week, she sent a first signal indicating that her investigation, initially in civil matters, now had a criminal component, carried out jointly with the services of Cyrus Vance.
“It’s purely political and an affront to the nearly 75 million voters who supported me in the presidential election,” said Donald Trump, “with two very partisan Democratic prosecutors at the helm”. “New York, the city and the state, suffer from the highest crime rates in their history,” he continued, a false claim, “and rather than go after the murderers, the drug traffickers and human beings, they attack Donald Trump. “