The Supreme Court cleared the way for a New York prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
This is a massive loss to Trump who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors.
According to CNN,
The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release.The ruling is a bitter loss for Trump, even if the tax records are shielded from public disclosure, after he consistently argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overbroad and issued in bad faith.
The ruling was issued without comment or dissent.
Last July, the Supreme Court, voting 7-2, rejected the Trump’s broad claims of immunity from a state criminal subpoena seeking his tax returns and said that as president he was not entitled to any kind of heightened standard unavailable to ordinary citizens. The justices sent the case back to the lower court so that the president could make more targeted objections regarding the scope of the subpoena.
This means that the grand jury investigation into alleged hush money payments and other issues will no longer be hampered by Trump’s fight to keep the documents secret.
In October, a federal appeals court said
“there is nothing to suggest that these are anything but run-of-the-mill documents typically relevant to a grand jury investigation into possible financial or corporate misconduct.”
Trump’s personal lawyers then took the case back to the Supreme Court, urging the justices to put the lower court ruling on hold while the justices considered whether to take up the appeal.
William Consovoy wrote,
“The subpoena is geographically sprawling, temporally expansive, and topically unlimited –all attributes that raise suspicions of an unlawful fishing expedition.
Even if disclosure is confined to the grand jury and prosecutors, once the documents are surrendered” confidentially “will be lost for all time.”
The subpoenas span documents from January 2011 to August 2019, including his tax returns, from Trump’s long time accounting firm, Mazars.
The documents relate to the Trump Organization’s employment of Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen and hush money payment Cohen allegedly made to two woman who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.
(Photo, YouTube; via CNN)