US Supreme Court to rule on Trump bid for concealing his financial records
WASHINGTON (US) – The US Supreme Court is due on Thursday to rule on whether Democratic-led congressional committees and a New York City prosecutor can get access to President Donald Trump’s financial records, including his tax returns, that he has unrelentingly sought to not disclose.
The high court will issue the final rulings of its current term, which began last October. Three cases focused on Trump lawsuits intended to block subpoenas issued to third parties – not the Republican president himself – to hand over his financial records are looked into. The rulings are expected shortly after 10 am.
Unlike other recent presidents, Trump has denied releasing his tax returns and other documents that could throw light on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization. The content of these records has been kept as a secret even as he seeks re-election on Nov. 3. The rulings represent another milestone in Trump’s tumultuous presidency.
House of Representatives committees issued two of the cases which involve subpoenas. It sought Trump’s financial records from his longtime accounting firm Mazars LLP and two banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
The third involves subpoenas issued to Mazars for financial records including nearly a decade of Trump’s tax returns to be handed over to a grand jury in New York City for the criminal investigation by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.
The investigation launched by Vance’s office in 2018 into Trump and the Trump Organization was spurred by disclosures of hush payments to two women who divulged that they had past sexual relationships with him, pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump and his aides, however, have denied the relationships.
In the litigation over the House subpoenas, Trump argued that Congress lacked a valid reason for seeking his records and that disclosure of the material would be like compromising his and his family’s privacy and deviate him from his duties.
In the New York case, Trump’s lawyers argued that under the Constitution he is immune from any criminal proceeding while serving as president. They also cited Justice Department guidance that a sitting president cannot be indicted or prosecuted.
The House Oversight Committee in April 2019 issued a subpoena to Mazars seeking eight years of accounting and other financial information in response to the congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer. Cohen said Trump had inflated and deflated certain assets on financial statements between 2011 and 2013 in part to reduce his real estate taxes.
Examination of possible money laundering in US property deals involving Trump has been done by the House Financial Services Committee. In a separate investigation, the House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether Trump’s dealings left him susceptible to foreign individuals or governments’ influence.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.