Supreme Court: Trump Not Immune From DA's Subpoena of Tax Records

The Supreme Court has ruled Trump does not have absolute immunity as to the Manhattan DA's subpoena of 8 years of his tax records. (Opinion here). But, the Court ruled, he still has defenses:

In the case concerning the prosecutors’ subpoena, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that “no citizen, not even the president, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding.” He added that Mr. Trump may still raise objections to the scope and relevance of the subpoena.

In a second case (opinion here), the Court refused to order that Trummp's financial records must be turned over to congressional committees investigating Trump. There could be separation of powers issues. [More...]

Trump lost today and he is angry. But how much practical impact will it have ? The case now goes back to the trial court. If Trump loses there, he goes to the appeals court, and then if necessary to the Supreme Court. Nothing is likely to be final before November.

Shorter version: Trump took a hit today, but he's not out of moves. The cat and mouse games continue.

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    The Supreme Court (none / 0) (#1)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 05:19:34 PM EST
    appears to have engaged in a balancing act--correcting potential Trumpian damage to the rule of law by denying sweeping absolute immunity for a president, while temporarily screening Trump's taxes off from unwanted eyes until after the November election.

    The Court upholds the power of Congress to subpoena information, including from the president (Mazars) and, in the case of Vance, lets it be known that state subpoenas can not be blithely ignored. In each case, the Court gives conditions--to Congress, such as needs to be related to and in furtherance of a a legitimate task of Congress; for prosecutors, for example,a standard less than that argued by DOJ (basically citizen's standards).

    The Court graciously provided Trump with legal advice for his next go around. There is help provided without appearing to help. But, likely, the information sought will come, just not now. Remanding to the lower courts gives Trump a break--a politically important time period before enforcement.

    Justice Thomas' dissent did not seem to be too far off from the Court's ruling, but seeing "issuance" of the subpoena as different than compliance with a subpoena, something, something.

    Justice Alito's dissent was a stretch--based on the pretense that Trump is a normal president and needs every minute of every day to protect the nation, from foreign and domestic enemies. Presidents need to be available 24/7. That is why we have the 25th Amendment, even a few minutes under anesthesia have invoked it in the past, twice.

    The electorate will, once again, go to the polls without information about Trump's tax returns.  Last time, they would gladly be offered up but for that "audit".  However, this time it is, in my view, not as critical in making a voter fitness for office decision. Maybe frosting on a corruption cake, but more like the niece's book on her uncle: the shocking part would be that few would be shocked.

    I am glad that the Supreme Court held (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 09:06:19 PM EST
    that Congressional Committee subpoenas need a legitimate legislative or oversight purpose, and that this can be challenged in court. Congressional committees have a long and dishonorable history of abuse against individual Americans, including Sen. Joseph McCarthy, HUAC, Sen. James Eastland's persecution of civil rights organizations, and the "Benghazi investigation," just to mention a few that come readily to mind.