Supreme Court: Trump records can’t be blocked
In what some observers have declared was a stunning defeat for Donald J. Trump, the US Supreme Court on July 9, approved two rulings that clear the way for exposure of his financial papers by New York prosecutors.
The long-awaited decision states that Trump had no absolute right to block release of the documents.
The decisions constitute a major statement on the scope and limits of presidential power.
“No citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts wrote for the majority.
A number of journalists high- lighted the fact that the 7-2 rulings included Yes votes from two Trump appointees.
The court’s four-member liberal wing voted with the majority as did the president’s choices: Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented in both cases.
Despite the court’s rulings, it is likely that the president’s records will be shielded from public scrutiny until after the November election — and perhaps indefinitely.
In a separate decision, the court ruled that Congress could not, at least for now, see many of the
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2, twice, in ruling on cases in an attempt to expose Trump’s tax records. Although the affirmative vote passed, it will take months — even beyond the presidential election — for some resolution.
The chief justice wrote the majority opinions in both cases and both were decided by the 7 to 2 votes.
President Trump immediately attacked the outcome on Twitter.
“This all a political prosecution. Courts in the past have given ‘broad deference,’ BUT NOT ME,” he tweeted.
Trump’s attorneys argued that he was immune from all criminal proceedings and investigations so long as he remained in office and that Congress was powerless to obtain his records because it had no legislative need for them.
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, portrayed the decisions as, at least, a temporary victory.
“We are pleased that in the decisions issued today, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked both Congress and New York prosecutors from obtaining the president’s tax records,” he said in a statement.
One of the cases concerned a subpoena to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat.
It sought eight years of business and personal tax records in connection with an investigation of the role that Trump and Trump Organization played in hush-money payments made in the run-up to the 2016 election.
Vance expressed satisfaction with the ruling in his favor.
“This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one — not even a president — is above the law,” he said.