The Supreme Court has ruled that Trump’s tax returns must be turned over to prosecutors in New York.
The ruling on Thursday July 9, 2020, has dealt a major blow to the president and paved the way for the potentially incriminating documents to be released publicly before November’s election.
The historic 7-2 decision forced Mazars USA, a financial accountant long used by Trump and his family business, to comply with a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., requesting eight of the president’s most recent personal and corporate returns as part of a grand jury investigation.
Both of Trump’s Supreme Court appointments, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, joined Chief Justice John Roberts and the bench’s four liberal-leaning members in voting against Trump’s bid to block Mazars from complying with the subpoena. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were the lone dissenters.
In an opinion penned by Roberts, the high court rejected Trump’s defense that he’s immune from investigation while in office or that a prosecutor must show a greater need than normal to obtain the financial records.
Vance wants the returns and other financial documents as part of a grand jury investigation into whether Trump’s namesake company falsified records while scrambling to pay off two women who had alleged affairs with him before the 2016 election.
“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 in a statement.
“Our investigation, which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit, will resume, guided as always by the grand jury’s solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead,” he added.
In a striking reversal, the same seven justices who backed Vance’s request voted to block a subpoena issued by three Democrat-led House committees that requested a similar set of Trump tax documents from Deutsche Bank and Mazars.