SCOTUS Grants Prosecutors Access to Trump's Financial Records
The Supreme Court cleared the way on Thursday for prosecutors in New York to seek President Trump’s financial records in a stunning defeat for Mr. Trump and a major statement on the scope and limits of presidential power.
• Two rulings clear the way for prosecutors in New York to seek President Trump’s financial records, but the two justices stopped Congress for now.
• The decision in the case said Mr. Trump had no absolute right to block release of the papers and would take its place with landmark rulings that required President Richard M. Nixon to turn over tapes of Oval Office conversations and that forced President Bill Clinton to provide evidence in a sexual harassment suit.
• “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 Jr. wrote for the majority. He added that Mr. Trump might still raise objections to the scope and relevance of the subpoena requesting the records.
• In a separate decision, the court ruled that Congress could not, at least for now, see many of the same records. It said the case should be returned to lower courts to examine whether Congress should narrow the parameters of the information it sought, meaning that the practical effect of the two decisions is that the records will not be made public before the elections this fall.
• The chief justice wrote the majority opinions in both cases, and both were decided by 7-to-2 votes. The court’s four-member liberal wing voted with him, as did Mr. Trump’s two appointees, Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh.
• Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented in both cases.
The court ruled in two cases, 7 to 2, which President Trump can for now block the release of his financial records to Congress but that prosecutors in New York may see them.
• Mr. Trump immediately attacked the outcome on Twitter. “This is all a political prosecution,” he wrote. “I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!”
• Chief Justice Roberts implicitly addressed that question in his opinion. There were “200 years of precedent establishing that presidents, and their official communications, are subject to judicial process, even when the president is under investigation,” he said.
Reporter : Manish JS