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Manhattan DA brings in forensic accounting specialists for Trump probe: report

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has brought in forensic accounting specialists to assist its criminal investigation into President TrumpDonald TrumpSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Nurse to be tapped by Biden as acting surgeon general: report Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE and his businesses, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. 

People familiar with the matter confirmed the plans to the Post. One source with knowledge of the investigation said that District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has hired FTI Consulting to investigate property deals and to advise him on whether the Trump Organization altered the value of certain assets in order to get tax breaks and better interest rates. 

The probe, which began in 2018 to look into alleged payments given to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, has now expanded to include potential wrongdoings by Trump’s larger businesses activities, the Post reported. 

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The sources spoke to the news outlet on the condition of anonymity because the investigation, which is believed to encompass several years of activities, is highly sensitive. 

Spokespeople for both Vance and FTI Consulting declined to comment when contacted by the Post, and Trump Organization representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Trump and company officials have repeatedly condemned the district attorney’s investigation, claiming that it is a “witch hunt” that is politically motivated. 

According to an FTI corporate brochure, the company provides “the industry's most complete range of forensic, investigative, data analytic and litigation services” and has “extensive experience serving leading corporations, governments and law firms around the globe.”

This comes as Vance and Trump's lawyers have been fighting in court over prosecutors' subpoena to Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the president's personal and business tax returns. A federal appeals court ruled in October that Trump cannot block enforcement of the subpoena, after which Trump's lawyers filed a motion to stay with the Supreme Court that has yet to be decided.

The district attorney's office has indicated in court filings that it is investigating potentially extensive criminal conduct at the Trump Organization. Prosecutors have suggested that Trump and his businesses could be investigated for tax and insurance fraud.

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Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the district attorney’s office had interviewed employees of Deutsche Bank and insurance brokerage Aon in connection with the investigation into Trump. 

The newspaper also reported that Trump has discussed with advisers whether to issue preemptive pardons to his children. The president has also claimed he can pardon himself, though it is unclear whether he has the legal authority to do so. 

Additionally, Trump's pardon power applies only to federal crimes, not state crimes.