Democrats in Congress and President Trump were both defeated
by a supreme court ruling today in which the justices ruled that Trump has to
release his financial records to NY state prosecutors, but also blocked
congress from getting those records, for now, sending it back to lower courts.
Democrats in The House of Representatives say they need
Trump’s accounting and bank records for the purpose of investigating whether
congress should amend existing federal conflict-of-interest and financial
disclosure laws, as well as laws regulating banks.
n early May, Trump's attorneys argued that the house
subpoenas were “unprecedented in every sense.”
Trump believes there is no valid legislative purpose for the
documents and alleges that the house is engaged in a political endeavor finding
evidence he broke the law.
When a lawyer for the house argued in support of the
subpoenas issued by three congressional committees, several conservative
justices zeroed in on whether the efforts by the democratic-led house amounted
to targeted harassment of Trump.
But in an unfavorable ruling for the President the court
ruled that Trump is not immune from New York's subpoena, in relation to an
ongoing criminal investigation, but the prosecutor will not get documents just
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 7-2 opinion, he said,
“We affirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither
absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor
entitled to a heightened standard of need.”
Cyrus Vance, New York's District Attorney, had served a
subpoena on Trump's long-time accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his tax returns
as part of an investigation into hush-money payments, in violation of campaign
Trump's attorneys asked for temporary immunity for the
president against the prosecutor’s subpoena.
Several justices were skeptical of Trump’s request.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor stressed that New York District
Attorney Cyrus Vance was not targeting official acts by the president.
“You are asking for a broader immunity than anyone else
gets,” she told a Trump attorney.
In response, the attorney emphasized that the President is
different from an ordinary person, Justice Elena Kagan shot back during
hearings, saying: “The President is not above the law.”
The Clinton v. Jones case, the court allowed a private
citizen to bring a civil suit against a sitting president, setting a precedent.