Trump must release his financial records to NY prosecutors, Supreme Court rules


The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that NY prosecutors can see President Donald Trump's financial records - an outcome the president has aggressively tried to prevent.

Three Democratic-led House committees have sought a sweeping array of Trump personal and business financial records - more than 10 years worth, many predating his time in the White House - including financial statements, loan engagement letters, bank statements, credit card statements, personal checks, loan applications and tax returns.

Lower courts in Washington and NY ruled against the president in all cases, but those decisions have been put on hold pending a final court ruling.

The justices sent that case back to the lower courts, too, blocking Democrats from getting those records for now and giving Trump a win to keep that information private in the months before the election.

New York Attorney General Cyrus Vance Jr. stands a very strong chance of prevailing in the upcoming lower court arguments for his case.

He had argued that he shouldn't have to hand over tax and financial records to NY prosecutors because sitting presidents are immune from prosecution.

Trump said on Twitter that "this is all a political prosecution".

Those cases are Trump v. Mazars USA and Trump v. Deutsche Bank.

The case was argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In one of those earlier cases, the court rejected Trump's effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants.

This is despite the court having a 5-4 conservative majority and including two Trump appointees - Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

The twin decisions - one theoretically allowing the tax returns to be released in a criminal case, the other rebuffing a push by Congress - have left a mixed picture for the president.

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Mr Trump is the first president since Richard Nixon in the 1970s not to have made his tax returns public.

Trump's tax records are not likely to become public in the near future, under grand jury secrecy rules, but they could come to light if Trump is charged with a crime after he leaves office.

In a 7-2 ruling, the court said the president does not have absolute immunity from criminal investigation. In each case, the vote was 7-2.

"Article II and the Supremacy Clause do not categorically preclude, or require a heightened standard for, the issuance of a state criminal subpoena to a sitting president", he wrote.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of expanding a clause that prevents the application of anti-discrimination laws from religious institutions.

Congress could also pass rules for the judiciary that would expedite cases dealing with subpoena disputes so that the "delay tactics are not that effective", Turberville said.

The ruling called for lower courts to "take adequate account of the separation of powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the unique position of the President". The courts will consider the case "consistent with this opinion".

Trump, for his part, vociferously defended himself Thursday.

"We have a totally corrupt previous Administration, including a President and Vice President who spied on my campaign, AND GOT CAUGHT.and nothing happens to them".

Regarding the House subpoena, Roberts said there was a need for a "balanced approach" in this clash between the president and Congress.

Vance and the House Oversight and Reform Committee sought records from Mazars concerning Trump and his businesses based on payments that Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged to keep two women from airing their claims of decade-old extramarital affairs with Trump during the 2016 presidential race.