When New York prosecutors finally get to examine the federal tax returns of former President Donald J. Trump, they will discover a veritable how-to guide for getting rich while losing millions of dollars and paying little to no income taxes.
Whether they find evidence of crimes, however, will also depend on other information not found in the actual returns.
The United States Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., to obtain eight years of Mr. Trump’s federal income tax returns and other records from his accountants. The decision capped a long-running legal battle over prosecutors’ access to the information.
The New York Times last year provided more or less a preview of what awaits Mr. Vance, when it obtained and analyzed decades of income tax data for Mr. Trump and his companies. The tax records provide an unprecedented and…