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Attorney Cyrus Vance can now require Trump’s accountants to turn over the records that the president has steadfastly refused to

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The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to block a New York grand jury from getting President Donald Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns, a decisive defeat in his prolonged legal battle to keep his tax records out of the hands of investigators.

The ruling does not mean the returns will become public any time soon, and they might never be publicly released. Under state law, materials turned over to a grand jury must be kept secret. But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can now require Trump’s accountants to turn over the records that the president has steadfastly refused to surrender to prosecutors or Congress.
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“The work continues,” Vance said in response to the Supreme Court order.

Vance is seeking tax returns covering eight years for a grand jury investigation of hush money payments and other financial transactions. The investigation began after it was disclosed that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her claim that she had an affair with Trump, an allegation the former president has denied.

Growing fallout after bombshell New York Times report on Trump’s taxes
SEPT. 29, 202003:05
Cohen also alleged to Congress that the Trump organization sometimes lied about its financial condition in order to evade taxes or obtain favorable loan terms.

In July, the Supreme Court rejected Trump’s contention that as a sitting president, he is immune from any part of the criminal justice system — including grand jury investigations. But the decision said he could go back to the lower courts and make the same arguments available to anyone trying to defeat a subpoena.

A month later, a federal judge in New York ruled against Trump’s renewed effort to get the subpoena tossed out, describing the legal attack as merely a repackaged version of his original immunity argument. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling.

The Trump legal team said the subpoena was vastly over-broad and issued in bad faith to harass him. If all Vance was looking at was the payments made by Cohen, they said, that wouldn’t explain why Vance simply copied a much broader subpoena issued by a congressional committee.

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The first subpoena issued by a state for the records of a sitting president should have been properly tailored, they told the Supreme Court.

“Its near limitless reach-in time, scope, and geographic reach-has all the hallmarks of a fishing expedition,” his lawyers told the Supreme Court. “And the fact that the subpoena was issued to a third-party custodian while tensions were running high between the Trump Organization and the district attorney, and for dubious reasons of efficiency, only makes the allegation of bad faith that much more plausible.”

But in recent court filings, Vance has hinted that the scope of his work may be broader than just the hush money payments.

“The investigation concerns a variety of business transactions and is based on information derived from public sources, confidential informants, and the grand jury process” and could include falsifying business records, insurance fraud, and tax fraud, Vance told the appeals court.

Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for Vance to enforce the subpoena, the president has exhausted his legal options to block it. The full tax return documents, or portions of them, would become public only if Vance brings criminal charges at some future date and seeks to introduce them as evidence.

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State Budget Forecast Projects Positive Balance Of $1.6 billion

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SAINT PAUL, MN —Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) projected a $1.6 billion surplus for the next two-year cycle when it released its most recent state-budget forecast on Friday.

Last November, MBB had predicted a $1.3 billion deficit for the latest budget cycle. However, in a statement Friday, MBB said a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending and an increased surplus for the current fiscal year were responsible for its latest forecast.

The forecast is available online.

In a statement, the MBB said Minnesota’s budget outlook was significantly better for this biennium and the next due to an improved U.S. economic outlook, which has been bolstered by large federal actions that have emerged since November and were not incorporated into the earlier projections.

Though there is no anticipated shortfall for the fiscal years 2022 and 2023, the MBB warned “the economic outlook has not been spread equally as unemployment continues to disproportionately impact lower-wage workers.”

According to the Star Tribune, the latest forecast sets the stage for months of budget negotiations at the State Capitol and will be become part of an ongoing political battle over taxes.

Gov. Tim Walz considered November’s budget projections last month when he proposed a $52.4 billion budget plan, which included increased taxes on top earners and corporations, additional spending on education and assistance for some lower-income families.

Walz is expected to adjust his proposal based on the latest forecast. The state House and Senate also will offer their big picture budget numbers in late March.

Another key variable in the budget picture will be money from President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

According to the Star Tribune, Democratic leaders on Thursday called for more state dollars for education and struggling families and said Minnesota should increase taxes on the wealthy and on businesses.

“We need an adequate source of revenue in order to support the kind of Minnesota we want to create. It doesn’t happen for free,” said House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D-Golden Valley).

Meanwhile, Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) said Democrats have committed to tax hikes regardless of the budget projections, but Republicans plan to prevent these increases from happening.

“Thankfully, Republicans will be looking out for Minnesota and their wallets, and these tax hikes stand zero chance of becoming law,” said Davids, who is the Republican lead on the Tax Committee.

 

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Petition To Rename Section Of Highway In Chanhassen After Prince Gets 1,300+ Signatures

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly five years after his death, there is a push to re-name a portion of Highway 5 after one of Minnesota’s favorite sons. Prince fans want to see a seven-mile stretch of Highway 5 in Chanhassen renamed to Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway.

The highway renaming is the dream of a group of his biggest fans. They already have the approval of Chanhassen City Council and now they’re collecting signatures to present to state lawmakers.

“His music, as amazing as it is, it’s what he’s done for our community is what is so important,” fan Lisa Levine said.

Read more at CBS Minnesota
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11 Good News Stories: Spidey Sense, Saving Grandma, ‘Vax-Unteers’

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ACROSS AMERICA — Mike Justman’s Spidey sense told him his superhero costume was the prescription for pandemic doldrums.

“Kids were getting their birthdays canceled,” the New Berlin, Wisconsin, resident told Patch’s Karen Pilarski.

He’s been putting on his Spider-Man costume since March, and putting on a show worthy of Tom Holland, the leading man in “Spider-Man 3.” He even jumps atop a car in a signature Spider-Man move.

Justman’s Spidey adventures started in his neighborhood but have expanded across southeastern Wisconsin. And it’s not just kids who are enjoying the show. By Karen Pilarski for New Berlin Patch

Below are 10 more uplifting stories from Patch editors across America.
Putting Their Privilege To Work

Inspired by their parents to recognize their privilege and use it to make their community better, a group of Warren, New Jersey, 6-year-olds known collectively as the Kindness Crew are teaming with the local police union to help restaurants struggling to stay afloat in an industry hit hard by the pandemic. The effort raised more than $4,000 to offset the costs of a special effort to bring more customers in the door. Two of the girls’ mothers had been doing philanthropic work to set an example for their daughters, and when they realized the girls didn’t have an active stake in it, they challenged them to help move the project ahead by doing video interviews with the people they wanted to help. By Alexis Tarrazi for Warren Patch
(Photo courtesy of Val Carleo)
Good Morning, Sunshine

Pandemic or not, folks around Buckingham Township in Pennsylvania weren’t going to let Bryan Rosica’s birthday pass without them making a big deal out of it. Neighbors and friends of the beloved elementary school teacher, who was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, surprised him with a sunrise parade. “Bryan is full of life,” one of the organizers told Patch. “He is always positive, incredibly energetic, a very thoughtful individual. He just has an effervescent personality, the kind of individual who will do anything for anybody.” By Peter Blanchard for Doylestown Patch
(Photo courtesy of the Rosica family)
The Uplift Of The Uplift

Inside the intensive care unit at St. Jude’s Medical Center in Anaheim, California, ventilators whoosh and hospital equipment beeps. This is the cadence of coronavirus, and it is the only sound in the ICU ward where Joseph Trejo, an otherwise healthy 53-year-old man until he contracted COVID-19, is in the battle of his life. Outside, a Mariachi band started strumming and raising their voices in song. Trejo’s wife of 38 years, Patty, had arranged for the musical tribute to lift his spirits — and her act ended up giving the ICU staff some much-needed joy. By Ashley Ludwig for Mission Viejo Patch
(Photo courtesy of St. Jude’s Hospital)
Stepping Up To The Plate

Pottstown, Pennsylvania, special education teacher Arden Moore will get a sign — an actual banner with her name — of how much she’s appreciated during the Philadelphia Phillies’ home opener on April 1. She has been teaching in-person classes since August — and, by the way, ongoing chemotherapy treatments didn’t stop her — and will be among 41 “Frontline Heroes” honored for, ahem, stepping up to the plate during the pandemic. By Marlene Lang for Pottstown Patch
The “Vax-Unteer” Squad

Snagging an appointment to get a coronavirus vaccination isn’t easy for anyone, as demand for the shots continues to exceed supply. And it’s especially tough for older folks introduced to technology late in life and not as comfortable at a computer as their children and grandchildren. Westfield, New Jersey, high school junior Taylor Addis recognized the problem many were having and organized her fellow “vax-unteers” to help. So far, at least 200 people in their area have asked the group for help, including one person who is 98. By Caren Lissner for Westfield Patch
Seeds Of Progress

Before AeroFarms moved into a former steel mill in Newark, New Jersey, the ailing, 75-year-old building was like many others in the city: full of promise but needing new life. Now, more than four years after AeroFarms planted the first seed at its global headquarters, new life has indeed arrived in the city’s Ironbound neighborhood — nearly 2 million pounds of it. That’s the amount of leafy greens that sprout every year at 212 Rome St., where an enormous, 70,000-square-foot facility houses the “largest indoor vertical farm in the world.” By Eric Kiefer for Newark Patch

 

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