The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in May regarding cases involving requests for Trump's taxes. In one case, Congress was seeking them. In the other, a New York prosecutor was seeking them.
From the outset, it appeared that we were destined for a split vote, with Congress being denied them due to the request being too broad, and with New York getting them because their request was narrow, making a clear case that these tax returns could assist in investigating possible crimes.
The first part of the day involved arguments by the Congressional attorney. That call did not go well, to say the least. The House committees made a broad request for years of financial records from Mazars, the Trump organization's accounting firm, and two banks that loaned money to various Trump businesses, Capital One and Deutsche Bank.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform told the Court that it wanted access to documents from the accounting firm Mazars to evaluate governent ethics laws. The House Committee on Financial Services and the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence wanted access to documents from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, banks which have lent money to Donald Trump, and his businesses, to aide an investigation into possible foreign influence in U.S. elections. In essence, they want an answer to this one question: Is Donald Trump beholden to Russia due to loans or business entanglements that he failed to disclose?
Trump's attorney, Patrick Strawbridge, argued that the Congressional committees went too far and their request was too broad, saying: "The power that they are seeking and the burden they will impose in the aggregate on the president will reshape and transform the balance of the separation of powers."
A majority of the justices seemed to agree.
The second case presented a ridiculous argument from Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, during which he stated that Trump was "absolutely immune" from being investigated or charged in any capacity, including responding a grand jury subpoena. This would make him, by definition, above the law.
The Manhattan DA, Cy Vance, is seeking Trump's tax records regarding an investigation into hush money payments made to two women who had affairs with Trump.
Well, today we got our ruling. But please know that just because the Supreme Court has ruled that New York can have access to Trump's taxes, it does not mean the public will see them anytime soon - or ever.
The opinion on Trump v Vance is 7-2. Roberts wrote the opinion, sending the case back to the District lower court, but unanimously ruling that Trump is not above the law.
On Mazars, the split was 7-2 again. Roberts wrote the opinion, sending the case back to the lower court, but unanimously agreeing that Trump does not have the ability to claim absolute immunity.
🚨In the congressional subpoena cases, by a 7–2 vote, the Supreme Court rules that Congress DOES have the power to subpoena Trump's financial records—but sends the cases down for the lower courts to more carefully assess "separation of powers concerns." https://t.co/FLpcA1m0Vz
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) July 9, 2020
Trump lost 2-0.
UPDATE: Deutsche Bank says it will comply with the Supreme's Court decision. That was fast.