WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday considers three blockbuster cases concerning efforts by the Democratic-led House of Representatives and a jury working with a prosecutor in ny City to get copies of President Donald Trump’s financial records.
Unlike recent presidents, Trump has refused to disclose his tax returns and other materials that might shed light on the scope of his wealth and his family-run land business. The cases test the bounds of presidential power in reference to Congress and state prosecutors.
Here may be a check out what’s at stake within the cases.
WHAT ARE THE THREE CASES?
Two of the three cases concern attempts by House committees to enforce subpoenas seeking Trump’s financial records from three businesses: Trump’s longtime firm Mazars LLP and two banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
The Supreme Court has consolidated these two cases and can hear them together during a scheduled one-hour argument.
The other case concerns another subpoena issued to Mazars for similar information, including tax returns, but this one was issued as a part of a jury investigation into Trump being administered in ny City. The justices will hear a second one-hour oral argument during this case.
Rulings are due by the top of June.
In all three cases, lower courts in Washington and ny ruled against Trump.
WHAT DOES THE HOUSE SUBPOENA TO MAZARS SEEK?
The House Oversight Committee in April 2019 issued a subpoena to Mazars seeking eight years of accounting and other financial information in response to the testimony before Congress of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer. Cohen said that Trump had inflated and deflated certain assets on financial statements between 2011 and 2013 partially to scale back his land taxes. The committee said it wanted to seek out out whether illegal actions had taken place. Cohen was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to charges including violating campaign finance law, bank fraud, evasion and lying to Congress.
WHAT ABOUT THE HOUSE SUBPOENAS TO THE BANKS?
The House Financial Services Committee has been examining possible concealment in U.S. property deals involving Trump. during a separate investigation, the House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether Trump’s dealings left him subject to the influence of foreign individuals or governments.
the 2 committees issued 12-page subpoenas in April 2019 requiring Deutsche Bank handy over the banking records of Trump, his children and his businesses. Lawmakers requested documents that identify “any financial relationship, transaction or ties” between Trump, his relations and “any foreign individual, entity or government,” consistent with the subpoena.
Investigators hope the records will reveal whether there are any financial links between Trump and Russia’s government, sources conversant in the probe said. that might include whether any loans to Trump by Deutsche Bank were back-stopped by Russian entities – a financial arrangement which will be considered a sort of insurance, the sources said.
Senior sources within Deutsche Bank have denied any Russian connections to loans it made to Trump.
Deutsche Bank was the sole major lender to conduct business with Trump in recent years – doing so despite the very fact that he defaulted on loans worth many many dollars the German bank made to him between 2004 and 2008.
At the time of his January 2017 inauguration, Trump owed Deutsche Bank around $350 million, consistent with sources. Many of the loans were granted through Deutsche Bank’s New York-based private banking division, which also lent to Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
The Financial Services Committee also issued a subpoena to Capital One, which also had maintained a long-term relationship with Trump and has come under scrutiny for a few of its business practices.
WHAT IS AT STAKE IN THE HOUSE SUBPOENAS CASES?
If Trump loses, the fabric would wish to be handed over to Democratic lawmakers, presumably before the Nov. 3 election during which Trump is seeking a second four-year term. The ruling would explain that a president, a minimum of when it involves information held by third parties, cannot block House subpoenas.
Trump’s lawyers have advanced several arguments, including that Congress had no authority to issue the subpoenas, a broad assertion of presidential power. No sitting president has ever had his personal records subpoenaed, they said. They also said that albeit Congress could issue the subpoenas, it lacked a legitimate legislative reason for doing so and had not stated with sufficient detail why it needed the documents.
If the court were to embrace Trump’s broadest arguments, it might severely weaken the power of Congress to conduct oversight of a president.
WHAT IS THE NEW YORK PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATING?
The office of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, in September 2019 sought nearly a decade of tax returns. it’s a part of a criminal investigation that began in 2018 into Trump and therefore the Trump Organization, the president’s family land business, spurred by disclosures of hush payments made to 2 women who said that they had past sexual relationships with him. Those women are pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump and his aides have denied the relationships.
WHAT IS AT STAKE IN THE NEW YORK CASE?
Trump’s lawyers argue that his records can’t be handed over due to his authority as president under the Constitution, contending he’s immune from any criminal proceeding when in office. they need downplayed prior Supreme Court rulings regarding limits on the reach of presidential authority and point instead to Department of Justice guidance that asserts that a sitting president can’t be indicted or prosecuted. during a inferior court hearing, Trump’s lawyers went thus far on argue that enforcement officials wouldn’t have the facility to research Trump albeit he shot someone on New York’s Fifth Avenue .
Vance has countered that his investigation is at an early stage which there’s a risk that documents would be lost if prosecutors cannot access them now.