Supreme Court Orders Trump Financial Records Released to NY Prosecutors
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump must hand over his tax returns to prosecutors in New York but temporarily blocked Congress from accessing his financial records.
The rulings were a setback for Trump's claim to absolute immunity from criminal investigation but may allow him at the same time to keep his finances private until after the November presidential election.
The court ruled 7-2 against Trump in a case brought by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat who is seeking eight years of the president's financial records in connection with an alleged "hush money" payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump's attorneys had claimed the president was immune from criminal investigation -- a claim rejected by the court.
"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," the court said. "We reaffirm that principle today."
The other case before the nation's highest court concerned a request by Democratic-led congressional committees for Trump's tax returns and financial records.
In a 7-2 ruling, the court sent the congressional case back to a lower court for further consideration, earning the president a reprieve of sorts.
Vance called the ruling "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.
"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," Vance said.
Even if Trump's financial records are turned over to prosecutors by his accounting firm Mazars they may remain hidden from public view because of grand jury secrecy.
Trump fired off a string of furious tweets following the rulings.
"This is about PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT," he tweeted.
"This is all a political prosecution," Trump said. "Now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!"
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, said she would continue to press for Trump's financial records to be handed over to 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."