Why public will not see Trump's financial records anytime soon

President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House in Washington Saturday Jan. 19 2019

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Trump, the only president in four decades who refused to release his personal income tax returns, can not block the release of financial information to a NY prosecutor who requested them from banks and accounting firms he did business with, the court ruled in a 7-2 decision.

The subpoenas seek years of Trump's personal financial records, as well as those of the Trump Organization and his other businesses.

Sending the question back to the lower court with a 7-2 ruling, Roberts writes, "Congressional subpoenas for information from the President, however, implicate special concerns regarding the separation of powers".

Justices on the court's liberal wing challenged both assertions during oral arguments, with Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointing out that the request by Congress for Trump's tax records was unprecedented only because Trump's flat refusal to release his tax records was unprecedented.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will pursue the case and will be able to achieve victory in lower courts.

The prosecutor and the House committees all issued subpoenas to third parties for the records, not the President himself.

Trump was quick to respond to the ruling, suggesting in a tweet that he was being treated unfairly: "Courts in the past have given "broad deference". The committees had issued subpoenas to his accounting firm, Capital One bank and Deutsche Bank. The case is scheduled to be argued in the court term that begins in October.

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If you were hoping to see Donald Trump's financial records before the 2020 election, today was not your day. The decision were expected in June and July and they set the stage for a historic ruling on the power of presidents relating to demands for information from prosecutors and from Congress.

Trump broke with longtime convention and refused to release his taxes as either a candidate or a sitting president, despite request from the House Ways and Mean Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Springfield. Since grand jury proceedings are confidential, it is unlikely that Trump's financial records will become public any time soon.

Justice department lawyers in that case argued that Congress had not demonstrated a legislative goal for the request and that such a request for a president's personal documents amounted to "harassment". "A limitless subpoena power could transform the established practice of the political branches and allow Congress to aggrandize itself at the President's expense".

In the other case, House Democrats wanted to see the president's financial records as part of an investigation into whether Trump paid hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The Supreme Court ruled broadly today in favour of the religious rights of employers in two cases that could leave more than 70,000 women without free contraception and tens of thousands of people with no way to sue for job discrimination. The Court makes clear that any stigma or damage to a President's reputation does not count, and in Mazars, the Court states that "burdens on the President's time and attention" are generally not of constitutional concern.' Elsewhere in its opinion in this case, the Court takes the position that when a President's non-official records are subpoenaed, his treatment should be little different from that of any other subpoena recipient.

In the Obama years, the court heard two cases on whether religious groups could refuse to comply with regulations requiring contraceptive coverage.

Trump's personal lawyers filed suits in NY and in Washington seeking to block the subpoenas. He did not rule out the possibility that the House subpoenas could be enforced in the future, but delayed, for now, the prospect that the documents will be turned over to Democrats before the November election.

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