The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against President Trump on Thursday, signaling he may have to hand over his tax records to New York prosecutors.
The court’s decision, 7 to 2, upheld a lower court’s ruling that Trump was not immune to the investigative efforts of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. but did not necessarily make a determination.
NBC News reports the prosecution can proceed in their efforts to request the information, potentially getting access to Trump tax records spanning years. This effort is part of a probe into whether the president was responsible for paying “hush” money to two women.
According to the report, the decision could also make these tax records available to House Democrats who are investigating whether foreign governments, including Russia, have influenced the president’s decisions.
Ruling is 7-2 with Chief Justice writing and conservatives Alito and Thomas dissenting. Both of Trump's appointees, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, ruled against him
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) July 9, 2020
The ultimate decision, as to whether Trump will, could, or should, hand over these records will likely happen after the November election.
From the report:
Both matters will go back to lower courts to determine if Trump needs to turn over any documents, which will not likely be settled before Election Day.
In our judicial system, “the public has a right to every man’s evidence,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision on the New York case. “Since the earliest days of the Republic, ‘every man’ has included the president of the United States. Beginning with Jefferson and carrying on through Clinton, presidents have uniformly testified or produced documents in criminal proceedings when called upon by federal courts.”
He added: “(W)e cannot conclude that absolute immunity is necessary or appropriate under Article II or the Supremacy Clause.”
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Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented in the ruling, offering Trump an avenue to lengthen the process of handing over the information.
Chief Justice Roberts for the Court: In our judicial system, the public has a right to every man’s evidence. Since the earliest days of the Republic, “every man” has included the President of the United States.
— Kimberly Robinson (@KimberlyRobinsn) July 9, 2020
Responding to the ruling, President Trump described it as “political prosecution.”
“The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. 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!” Trump tweeted.
The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2020
Trump’s legal defense has vowed to continue fighting the requests.
“We are pleased that in the decisions issued today, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked both Congress and New York prosecutors from obtaining the president’s financial records,” the president’s attorney, Jay Sekulow said. “We will now proceed to raise additional Constitutional and legal issues in the lower courts.”