Supreme Court to hear three cases seeking access to Trump’s financial and tax records

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Supreme Court to hear three cases seeking access to Trump’s financial and tax records

The justices are likely to rule on the cases by June.

Trump’s legal team, which had urged the court to intervene in the three cases, hailed the justices’ action.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the President’s three pending cases,” Trump outside counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement. “These cases raise significant constitutional issues. We look forward to presenting our written and oral arguments.”

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are “confident” the Supreme Court will “uphold the Constitution, the rulings of the lower courts and ensure that Congressional oversight can proceed.”

The House Oversight, Intelligence and Financial Committees said in a joint statement, “While we are disappointed that Congress will now have to wait several more months to get a final ruling, we look forward to presenting our case to the Supreme Court.”

The House-related cases the justices agreed to take up stem from a barrage of subpoenas the House issued in April, when the Oversight and Reform Committee demanded eight years of Trump’s financial records from the international accounting firm Mazars, and the Intelligence and Financial Services committees sought additional records from two of Trump’s major lenders, Deutsche Bank and CapitalOne.

A divided federal appeals court panel in Washington upheld the Oversight panel’s subpoena in October, issuing a 2-1 decision endorsing a broad congressional right to information that could inform legislation.

House lawyers said the details on Trump’s financial dealings could help efforts to tighten financial disclosure laws and to regulate what so-called emoluments presidents and other officials can accept from foreign sources.

Trump’s attorneys argued that the House’s claims about potential legislation were just pretexts and that lawmakers were actually embarking on a impermissible, law-enforcement-type effort to try to prove that Trump had committed crimes.

In December, another divided federal appeals court in New York issued a decision blessing the subpoenas to Deutsche and CapitalOne, but ordering a lower court to set up a process to consider holding back sensitive personal information not relevant to the House probe.

The banks have indicated they don’t currently have copies of Trump’s tax returns, but Deutsche said it does have some returns for two Trump family members.

The third legal fight the justices agreed to wade into pits Trump against Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. A grand jury investigating potential financial and tax-related crimes issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization and to Mazars, prompting Trump to file suit to block the effort.

A unanimous 2 nd Circuit panel backed that subpoena last month.

None of the three cases relates directly to the ongoing impeachment effort in the House, but whatever decision the court reaches could have implications for the House’s impeachment powers. However, there seems likely to be little impact on the current impeachment effort since Democratic lawmakers have been moving at a far quicker pace than the courts.

House officials have suggested they plan to press on with most of the legal battles, but not hold up impeachment action to wait for the courts to rule. However, one of the two articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee approved earlier Friday is based on Trump’s decision to refuse the House’s demands for documents and testimony from key Trump aides.

At a hearing Friday morning in a fight between the House and the administration over records related to the 2020 census, the House’s top lawyer expressed “immense frustration” about how long it has taken to get appeals courts to rule in the ongoing subpoena-enforcement cases.

“Thankfully, they’ve always ruled in our favor, but it’s taken a long time,” House general counsel Douglas Letter said.

Darren Samuelsohn contributed to this report.

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