SCOTUS to Rule on Trump Tax Records 07/09 06:23

SCOTUS to Rule on Trump Tax Records    07/09 06:23


   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether Congress 
and the Manhattan district attorney can see President Donald Trump's taxes and 
other financial records that the president has fought hard to keep private.

   The high-stakes dispute, which could be resolved Thursday, tests the balance 
of power between the White House and Congress, as well as Trump's claim that he 
can't be investigated while he holds office.

   It's unclear, even if Trump loses, how much of the material would become 
public, since some records would go to a confidential grand-jury investigation 
in New York and the rest, sought by committees of the Democratic-controlled 
House of Representatives, could contain highly sensitive information not just 
about Trump, but also about other members of his family and businesses.

   Trump has so far lost at every step, but the records have not been turned 
over pending a final court ruling.

   The case was argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic. 
The court said Wednesday that all remaining cases would be decided Thursday. A 
dispute over whether a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains American Indian 
land, also argued in May, is the only other outstanding case.

   The fight over the congressional subpoenas has significant implications 
regarding a president's power to refuse a formal request from Congress. In a 
separate fight at the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., over a 
congressional demand for the testimony of former White House counsel Don 
McGahn, the administration is making broad arguments that the president's close 
advisers are "absolutely immune" from having to appear.

   In two earlier cases over presidential power, the Supreme Court acted 
unanimously in requiring President Richard Nixon to turn over White House tapes 
to the Watergate special prosecutor and in allowing a sexual harassment lawsuit 
against Clinton to go forward.

   In those cases, three Nixon appointees and two Clinton appointees, 
respectively, voted against the president who chose them for the high court. A 
fourth Nixon appointee, William Rehnquist, sat out the tapes case because he 
had worked closely as a Justice Department official with some of the Watergate 
conspirators whose upcoming trial spurred the subpoena for the Oval Office 

   There are two Trump appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, 
on the court.

   The subpoenas are not directed at Trump himself. Instead, House committees 
want records from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting 
firm. Mazars also is the recipient of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's 

   Appellate courts in Washington, D.C., and New York brushed aside the 
president's arguments in decisions that focused on the fact that the subpoenas 
were addressed to third parties asking for records of Trump's business and 
financial dealings as a private citizen, not as president.

   Two congressional committees subpoenaed the bank documents as part of their 
investigations into Trump and his businesses. Deutsche Bank has been one of the 
few banks willing to lend to Trump after a series of corporate bankruptcies and 
defaults starting in the early 1990s.

   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.

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