The Trump tax return fight is now headed for SCOTUS on both the House Democratic subpoena and the New York state fronts.
Congress can seek eight years of President Trump’s tax records, according to a federal appeals court order Wednesday that moves the separation-of-powers conflict one step closer to the Supreme Court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit let stand an earlier ruling against the president that affirmed Congress’s investigative authority on a day when the House was holding its first public impeachment inquiry hearing.
Trump’s lawyers have said they are prepared to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in this case and in several other legal battles between the president and Congress.
The D.C. Circuit was responding Wednesday to Trump’s request to have a full panel of judges rehear a three-judge decision from October that rejected the president’s request to block lawmakers from subpoenaing his longtime accounting firm.
The order does not mean Trump’s taxes will be turned over to Congress immediately. The D.C. Circuit previously said it would put any ruling against the president on hold for seven days to give Trump’s attorneys time to ask the Supreme Court to step in.
Trump’s attorneys also are planning to ask the high court as soon as this week to block a similar subpoena for the president’s tax records from the Manhattan district attorney, who is investigating hush-money payments in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The New York-based appeals court ruled against Trump this month and refused to block the subpoena to his accounting firm, Mazars USA.
The D.C. Circuit case centers on a House Oversight Committee subpoena from March for the president’s accounting firm records — issued months before the beginning of its impeachment inquiry, related to Trump’s alleged efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.
I'm not 100% sure if SCOTUS will take up both cases, one of the two, or neither. It's possible SCOTUS will not want to interfere, but I could almost guarantee you that there's four conservative justices who want to take up these cases in order to give Trump blanket immunity, and that means it could be June before we have a decision.
That could be a double-bladed sword however. Trump's returns would almost certainly be leaked to the press, and Trump would go on a rampage after whoever printed it, right in time for summer campaign season.
Of course, an impeached and removed Trump could make all of this moot, so.