The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has hired forensic accountants to examine former President Donald Trump’s finances, particularly any anomalies in his property dealings.
This is part of an investigation into ‘hush money’ payments that has been ongoing since 2018. Since it began, the investigation has been expanded to consider Donald Trump’s vast business empire, and investigators have pored over the former President’s financial records, spoken with employees at Deutsche Bank – his most important lender – and subpoenaed insurance broker, Aon.
According to recent reports, the forensic investigators will also advise the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on whether Mr Trump’s company manipulated the value of certain assets to obtain favourable interest rates and tax breaks.
Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the forensic accounting firm could be called to testify about its findings, especially if the District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, brings criminal charges.
This is quite normal in cases of alleged financial misconduct, as forensic accountants are not only independent but are also experts at delivering what can be very complex evidence in a straightforward manner that juries can understand.
Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “The investigators hired by the District Attorney will be using their expertise to find any anomalies in the Trump organisation’s accounts and may speak to those who could have evidence about the former President’s dealings.
“There had been much speculation as to whether or not Trump might have tried to give himself a pre-emptive pardon but, even if he had done so, it would only have been effective against a federal prosecution. The fact that these proceedings are being instigated by the state of New York means that a federal pardon would have been no protection from them.
If Trump is found guilty in the forthcoming impeachment proceedings, he will lose even more protection, which is perhaps why many commentators are predicting that this may not be the only claim that he is likely to face over the forthcoming months.”