'A growing universe' of Trump associates under scrutiny as tax investigation enters 'next phase'

The criminal probe into former President Donald Trump's business activities is reportedly approaching an important new phase.

According to Reuters, prosecutors at the moment are "combing through millions of pages of newly acquired records with an eye toward identifying witnesses who can bring the documents to life for a jury."

One source tells Reuters that "the next phase is identifying targets" for potential subpoenas as prosecutors probe whether Trump committed fraud aimed at reducing his tax liabilities.

In fact, Reuters writes that "a growing universe of people, institutions and agencies are being scrutinized by Vance's prosecutors as potential witnesses in the case."

Prosecutors are conducting a sweeping investigation into Trump's finances, as attorneys working for Manhattan DA Cy Vance have told courts they they are probing whether Trump committed tax fraud by lying about the value of his properties.

Vance's office in recent weeks has subpoenaed financial documents related to a skyscraper that Trump built in Chicago, as well as local government meeting records related to his efforts to develop the Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, New York, indicating that attorneys are looking at potentially widespread fraudulent practices across the former president's real estate empire.

So far, Vance has not charged Trump with any criminal wrongdoing.