In the narrowest aperture what the court’s ruling means is that Vance — and the grand jury he has empaneled to look into hush money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 election to two women alleging affairs with Trump — will get a look at Trump’s most carefully guarded secret: His financial documents.
Which is a blow for Trump — especially given a) how hard he fought the release of these documents, which include years of tax returns, to Vance and b) what we already know about Trump’s involvement in the hush money scheme.
“The documents are the first time that the US authorities have identified Trump by name and allege his involvement at key steps in the campaign finance scheme. Authorities had previously referred to Trump in court filings as ‘Individual 1,’ the person who directed [Michael] Cohen to make the payments. Trump has publicly denied making the payments. Cohen pleaded guilty to two campaign finance crimes, among others, and is serving a three year prison sentence.”
But what we do know is that the Manhattan District Attorney investigation is far from the only legal matter in which Trump currently finds himself entangled. Consider:
Trump, of course, is also not unfamiliar with drawn-out court fights. He’s often bragged about his ability to use the legal system to his advantage, in fact.
The question going forward, however, is whether Trump’s old legal tactics — delay, delay, delay and hope the other side loses interest or runs out of money — will work against the considerable number of foes aligned against him.
After all, Trump’s no longer just some rich guy. He’s the former president of the United States. Which puts a MUCH larger legal target on his back.