Trump tax returns: Supreme Court rules president does not have to reveal financial documents to House

Trump tax returns: Supreme Court rules president does not have to reveal financial documents to House


Trump tax returns: Supreme Court rules president does not have to reveal financial documents to House

Trump tax returns: Supreme Court rules president does not have to reveal financial documents to House

Trump tax returns: Supreme Court rules president does not have to reveal financial documents to House 1

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The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked Congress from obtaining Donald Trump‘s tax and financial records from his accounting firm and major lenders, meaning voters will not see them before Election Day.

The president had mounted a fierce legal challenge to attempts by House Democrats and prosecutors in Manhattan to gain access to his tax returns and other documents, including ones that could show links to foreign individuals. The high court’s decision means the House Democrats who impeached Mr Trump cannot obtain his tax records, financial information and more from his accounting firm, Mazars USA, and his major lenders, Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

The 7-2 decision is a major win for the president, who recently lost one major Supreme Court case that blocked his effort to end the Barack Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program and another landmark decision that protected gay, lesbian, and transgender from workplace discrimination. Conservative Justices Samuel Alito and Clearance Thomas were the lone dissenting justices.


The case could become a landmark decision cited for years in cases pitting presidents and the executive branch against Congress.

“The House’s approach fails to take adequate account of the significant separation of powers issues raised by congressional subpoenas for the President’s information. Congress and the President have an ongoing institutional relationship as the ‘opposite and rival’ political branches established by the Constitution,” the majority wrote in its opinion. “As a result, congressional subpoenas directed at the President differ markedly from congressional subpoenas we have previously reviewed.”

The seven justices ruled that the House subpoenas and approach were essentially limitless, meaning it could have set a precedent of allowing this and future Congresses endless access to any president’s personal records. The high court long has held to a belief that each branch of government must retain the autonomy and powers given them by the Constitution.

“Far from accounting for separation of powers concerns, the House’s approach aggravates them by leaving essentially no limits on the congressional power to subpoena the President’s personal records. Any personal paper possessed by a President could potentially “relate to” a conceivable subject of legislation, for Congress has broad legislative powers that touch a vast number of subjects,” the majority wrote. “The President’s financial records could relate to economic reform, medical records to health reform, school transcripts to education reform, and so on. Indeed, at argument, the House was unable to identify any type of information that lacks some relation to potential legislation.

“Without limits on its subpoena powers, Congress could ‘exert an imperious controul’ over the Executive Branch and aggrandize itself at the President’s expense,” the seven justices said, “just as the Framers feared.”

The Supreme Court broke with lower courts that had sided with House Democrats, ruling “the subpoenas do not represent a run-of-the-mill legislative effort but rather a clash between rival branches of government over records of intense political interest for all involved.”


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