What NY prosecutors could learn from Trump's tax records

FILE - In this May 10, 2018, file photo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., responds to a question during a news conference in New York. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trumps tax records. Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for the Democrats investigation into Trumps business affairs? Former prosecutors say the trove of records could give investigators new tools to determine whether Trump lied to lenders or tax officials. The former president has argued for years that he broke no laws and has been unfairly targeted by Democrats for political reasons. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
FILE - In this May 10, 2018, file photo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., responds to a question during a news conference in New York. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trumps tax records. Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for the Democrats investigation into Trumps business affairs? Former prosecutors say the trove of records could give investigators new tools to determine whether Trump lied to lenders or tax officials. The former president has argued for years that he broke no laws and has been unfairly targeted by Democrats for political reasons. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

NEW YORK – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. fought for a year and a half to get access to former President Donald Trump’s tax records.

Now, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, he will soon have them. But what will that mean for the Democrat’s grand jury investigation into Trump’s business affairs?

Former prosecutors say the trove of records could give investigators new tools to determine whether Trump lied to lenders or tax officials, before or after he took office.

“Prosecutors look for discrepancies in paperwork. For example, if Trump told the IRS he’s broke and lenders that he’s rich that’s just the type of discrepancy they could build a case around,” said Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor who worked on a wide range of white collar cases as Vance’s chief of asset forfeiture.

“These documents are a very important piece of the jigsaw puzzle,” Levin said.

Whether Trump's records will contain evidence of a crime is uncertain. The former president, a Republican, has argued for years that he broke no laws and has been unfairly targeted by Democrats for political reasons.

Here is a look at where the tax records might be helpful, and where they might not help much, in the district attorney's investigation:

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