The US Supreme Court Gives Access to Trump's Financial Records

Published July 9th, 2020 - 12:39 GMT
US President Donald Trump holds a joint press conference with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. JIM WATSON / AFP
US President Donald Trump holds a joint press conference with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. JIM WATSON / AFP
Highlights
A third case, Trump vs. Vance, involves a grand jury subpoena by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance that seeks nearly a decade's worth of Trump's financial records.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue long-awaited decisions Thursday on three cases involving efforts to access President Donald Trump's financial records, including his tax returns.

As the court issues its final opinions of the term, it will settle years-long cases on whether Congress and New York prosecutors can obtain Trump's records from his accounting firm and banks.

A pair of cases, Trump vs. Mazars and Trump vs. Deutsche Bank, involve attempts by House Democrats for Trump's tax returns from the accounting firm Mazars USA -- first requested after the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen testified that he manipulated the value of Trump's assets for personal gain. The latter seeks records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One as part of subpoenas investigating Trump's past dealing with foreign businesses.

In the Mazars case, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., upheld a lower court ruling that said the firm must hand over the records, but Trump's attorneys challenged the decision on the grounds that lawmakers don't have subpoena authority for anything other than writing laws.

In the Deutsche Bank case, a lower appellate court ruled in favor of House lawmakers and said there's a legitimate concern involving national security. Trump's lawyers challenged the ruling, arguing that the investigation was beyond Congress' powers.

During oral arguments in May, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared to side with the court's four Democratic appointees in questioning why Congress shouldn't be allowed to determine whether its investigations have a legislative purpose.

A third case, Trump vs. Vance, involves a grand jury subpoena by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance that seeks nearly a decade's worth of Trump's financial records.

A grand jury subpoenaed the records as part of an investigation into "hush money" payments the president supposedly made to two women to keep extramarital affairs secret.

A lower appellate court ruled the subpoena is lawful because it is directed at Mazars USA and not the president. Trump's attorneys have argued that a sitting president cannot be indicted and is therefore immune from any part of the criminal justice process, including grand jury subpoenas.

Trump never released his tax returns during his 2016 campaign, as is traditional for presidential candidates. He initially cited an audit as the reason and promised to release the returns when it was complete. Other times, he has been non-committal about releasing them for public scrutiny.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


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