As expected, Trump's legal team has filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to protect his tax returns from House Oversight Democrats.
In their Wednesday petition to the court, filed ahead of a Thursday deadline, Trump’s personal attorneys warned the justices that a lower court ruling in favor of the Democratic lawmakers would set a dangerous precedent if allowed to stand.
“Under the D.C. Circuit’s decision, Congress can subpoena any private records it wishes from the President on the mere assertion that it is considering legislation that might require presidents to disclose that same information,” they wrote.
The Supreme Court last month agreed to temporarily stay the House committee’s subpoena for Trump’s financial records while the court considers whether to take up his appeal.
The case arose after Democrats subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, in April for years of his personal and corporate financial records. Lawmakers said the information would help to determine if updates were needed to current ethics-in-government laws.
Trump challenged the subpoena, arguing the lawmakers lacked a legitimate legislative purpose.
A federal district court judge sided with the Oversight and Reform Committee, as did the D.C. Circuit on appeal, prompting Trump’s latest petition to the Supreme Court.
In their petition, Trump’s attorneys cautioned that congressional subpoenas could be used as political weapons against a sitting president if the justices don’t overrule the D.C. Circuit’s decision.
“Given the obvious temptation to investigate the personal affairs of political rivals, subpoenas concerning the private lives of presidents will become routine in times of divided government,” they wrote.
Both lower court rulings were blistering indictments of the plenary executive, stating that having the White House determine what executive branch information was subject to subpoena was a bit like having a murder suspect saying "I get to decide what evidence the state gets to use against me".
Yes, there's a presumption of innocence but there's also evidence used to determine guilt. The House wants to know what Donald Trump did with his finances because there's probable cause that the guy is taking money from the Russian mob.
And the final thing here is that Trump is literally going to the Supreme Court to prevent House Democrats from even seeing his taxes.
Anyway, it doesn't mean SCOTUS wants a part of this. They may punt. We'll see where this goes.