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Supreme Court Hears Trump’s Challenge to Releasing Tax Records

HeadlineMay 13, 2020

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments by telephone Tuesday in a pair of cases that will determine whether President Trump can continue to keep his tax returns and private financial records a secret. President Trump is resisting subpoenas from the House Financial Services Committee, which is investigating possible money laundering in Trump-related property deals, and from the House Intelligence Committee, which is looking into whether Trump’s business dealings put him at risk of blackmail by foreign governments. New York prosecutors are also seeking Trump’s financial records. Justice Sonia Sotomayor noted that Congress has a long history of subpoenaing presidential records; at one point during Tuesday’s arguments she interrupted Chief Justice John Roberts.

Chief Justice John Roberts: “What we’re seeking here is presidential finances. When you look at the” —

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “No, we’re — I’m sorry, pardon, sir. Not presidential finances. We’re asking for his personal tax returns before he became president. Those are very different things.”

Justices seemed to leave open the possibility they would return the cases to lower courts, which would push any turnover of Trump’s tax records past November’s election.

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