Supreme Court: Prosecutors may subpoena Trump tax returns; Congress will have to wait

Supreme Court rules President Trump’s financial records can be subpoenaed

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump cannot block a grand jury request for his financial records, although justices sided with the president in the battle over releasing his financial records to Congress.

Update 12 p.m. EDT July 7: Lawmakers took to Twitter on Thursday with reactions to the Supreme Court’s rulings in a pair of cases involving President Donald Trump’s financial records.

The court rejected arguments from Trump’s attorneys claiming that as president he has totally immunity from criminal investigations but decided to hold on to financial records of Trump’s that Congress has been seeking for more than a year.

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Both cases were sent back to lower courts for review.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT July 7: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday in a statement that the Supreme Court’s decision to send a case about President Donald Trump’s financial records back to a lower court for review “is not good news for President Trump.”

In the court’s majority opinion, penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, justices said that lower courts have thus far not taken “adequate account of the significant separation of powers concerns implicated by congressional subpoena’s for the President’s information.”

Pelosi said the decision “has reaffirmed the Congress’s authority to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people, as it asks for further information from Congress.”

“The Congress will continue to conduct oversight For The People, upholding the separation of powers that is the genius of our Constitution,” Pelosi said. “We will continue to press our case in the lower courts.”

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT July 7: A spokesman for one of the banks holding President Donald Trump’s financial records said in a statement Thursday that the bank will comply with the court’s decisions related to the records.

“Deutsche Bank has demonstrated full respect for the US legal process and remained neutral throughout these proceedings,” Deutsche Bank spokesman Daniel Hunter said in a statement obtained by The New York Times. “We will of course abide by a final decision by the courts.”

Two congressional committees subpoenaed bank documents from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting firm as part of investigations into Trump and his businesses.

Deutsche Bank has been one of the few banks willing to lend to Trump after a series of corporate bankruptcies and defaults starting in the early 1990s.

Update 11:10 a.m. EDT July 7: In a 7-2 ruling announced Thursday, the Supreme Court decided to send a case about whether Congress can get access to President Donald Trump’s financial records back to a lower court for review.

“The courts ... did not take adequate account of the significant separation of powers concerns implicated by congressional subpoena’s for the President’s information,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the court’s majority opinion.

Two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, dissented.

Update 11 a.m. EDT July 7: President Donald Trump accused authorities of corruption is a series of tweets posted Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled that he is not immune to grand jury records requests.

The court on Thursday also blocked Congress from receiving the president’s tax returns and sent that case back to a lower court for review.

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT July 7: Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance called the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that President Donald Trump is not immune to grand jury subpoenas while president “a tremendous victory” in a statement released after the decision was made public.

“This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one -- not even a president -- is above the law,” Vance said.

“Our investigation, which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit, will resume, as guided as always by the grand jury’s solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead.”

New York prosecutors requested financial records from the president as part of a grand-jury investigation into alleged hush money payments made to a pair of women who claimed to have had affairs with the president.

Update 10:35 a.m. EDT July 7: The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision Thursday that President Donald Trump is not immune to grand jury records requests in response to a challenge from prosecutors in New York investigating an alleged hush money scheme involving the president.

“Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court’s majority opinion.

“We reaffirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need.”

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 7: The Supreme Court sided with Trump on Thursday in a case about whether the president will have to turn over financial records to congressional investigators.

Trump v. Mazars decision by National Content Desk on Scribd

Update 10:15 a.m. EDT July 7: The Supreme Court released its first opinion Thursday morning in the case involving Trump and prosecutors in New York, who are seeking the president’s financial records as part of an investigation into alleged hush money payments made to silence two women who claim to have had affairs with the president.

Trump v. Vance decision by National Content Desk on Scribd

Original report: The president has consistently fought the release of his returns and other records, framing continued work on the issue as “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” on social media.

The high-stakes disputes, which could be resolved Thursday, test the balance of power between the White House and Congress, as well as Trump’s claim that he can’t be investigated while he holds office.

Attorneys for the House of Representatives have argued that Trump is required to turn over records requested during investigations by the House Ways and Means Committee. The committee has said it’s investigating whether Trump is complying with tax laws and the administration of tax laws and policies related to presidential tax returns, among other things.

Prosecutors in New York requested Trump financial records as part of an investigation into alleged hush money payments made to silence two women who claim to have had affairs with the president. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow argued before the court in May that the Constitution gives sitting U.S. presidents “temporary presidential immunity” from criminal prosecution.

The subpoenas are not directed at Trump himself. Instead, House committees want records from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting firm. Mazars also is the recipient of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s subpoena.

It's unclear, even if Trump loses, how much of the material would become public, since some records would go to a confidential grand-jury investigation in New York and the rest, sought by committees of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, could contain highly sensitive information not just about Trump, but also about other members of his family and businesses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.