Trump told to give fi­nan­cial records to pros­e­cu­tors

The National - News - - NEWS | WORLD - THE NA­TIONAL

The US Supreme Court has or­dered Don­ald Trump to re­lease his fi­nan­cial records to New York pros­e­cu­tors.

It is a ma­jor de­feat for the US pres­i­dent who has fought for years to shield them from scru­tiny.

In a 7-2 rul­ing on Thurs­day, the coun­try’s top court said the pres­i­dent did not have ab­so­lute im­mu­nity from crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“Two hun­dred years ago, a great ju­rist of our Court es­tab­lished that no ci­ti­zen, not even the Pres­i­dent, is cat­e­gor­i­cally above the com­mon duty to pro­duce ev­i­dence when called upon in a crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ing,” the court said. “We reaf­firm that prin­ci­ple to­day.”

Mr Trump said in a tweet that he was the vic­tim of “a po­lit­i­cal pros­e­cu­tion”.

In a sec­ond rul­ing, which also passed by a mar­gin of 7-2, the court said Mr Trump can block the re­lease of his fi­nan­cial records to Congress, which has been seek­ing ac­cess to them for more than a year.

Con­gres­sional in­ves­ti­ga­tions have raised ques­tions about whether Mr Trump has sen­si­tive fi­nan­cial ex­po­sure to Rus­sia, and also whether he has used ques­tion­able ac­count­ing loop­holes to avoid pay­ing taxes in the 1990s and 2000s.

Mr Trump’s two Supreme Court ap­pointees, Jus­tices Neil Gor­such and Brett Ka­vanaugh, joined the ma­jor­ity in both cases along with Chief Jus­tice John Roberts and the four lib­eral jus­tices.

The rul­ing re­turns the case to lower courts, with no clear prospect for when the case might ul­ti­mately be re­solved.

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