High Court Takes Trump's Financial Disclosure Cases

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 14, 2019 | Go to article overview

High Court Takes Trump's Financial Disclosure Cases


Byline: Robert Barnes The Washington Post

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether President Donald Trump may shield disclosure of his financial information from congressional committees and a New York prosecutor, raising the prospect of a landmark election-year ruling on a president's immunity from investigation while he is in office.

Trump asked the court to accept the cases, and they will be heard in March, with a ruling before the court's session ends in late June. It means that whatever the outcome of Trump's separate impeachment proceedings, the controversies over investigations into Trump's conduct will continue into the heart of the presidential election campaign.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and three Democratic-led congressional committees have won lower-court decisions granting them access to a broad range of Trump's financial records relating to him personally, his family and his businesses. The court on Friday said it would consider all three cases.

Unlike other modern presidents and presidential candidates, Trump has not released his tax returns. He and his personal lawyers have mounted a vigorous effort to keep that information private and defeat attempts to obtain the records from financial institutions and his accounting firm.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the President's three pending cases," said Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, in a statement released Friday. "These cases raise significant constitutional issues."

The Supreme Court's decision to get involved represents a historic moment that will test the justices and the Constitution's separation-of-powers design. It is the first time the president's personal conduct has come before the court, and marks a new phase in the investigations that have dogged his presidency.

The Supreme Court's action came the same day a House committee approved articles of impeachment against the president, but these issues do not concern that process. It does add another potential blockbuster ruling to a Supreme Court term that already contains politically controversial cases on abortion, gun rights, the fate of undocumented "dreamer" immigrants brought to the country as minors and whether federal civil rights laws protect LGBT workers. …

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