The release of Donald Trump's tax records has long been a topic of debate and discussion, and now the Supreme Court is ruling the records may be turned over to a grand jury. In a 7-2 ruling, The Supreme Court upheld a demand by a prosecutor that Trump's tax returns need to be provided as part of a criminal investigation.
This investigation is related to allegations that Trump may have given hush-money payments to women who claim to have had affairs with him, according to a report from the AP. Trump's tax records are held by Mazars USA, his longtime accounting firm, and the company has said that it will comply with any court orders. However, the outlet notes that it will likely be some weeks before a formal judgment is issued, which would then require the official turnover of the tax records. In a previous story, the AP stated that there is no way of knowing just how much of Trump's tax records will actually be made public, as the majority of it will only be sent to the confidential grand-jury investigation. Some records may also be sent House of Representatives, as well, but the records may contain private information about members of his family, which could possibly be cause for the records to be kept form the general public.
BREAKING: Supreme Court won't allow Congress to get Trump tax and financial records, for now. https://t.co/GJ4DnZYoWM— The Associated Press (@AP) July 9, 2020
The AP also reported that the Supreme Court rejected arguments by Trump's lawyers, as well as the Justice Department, regarding the president is immune from investigation while holding office. They also argued that a prosecutor should how a need greater than normal in order to be able to obtain the records, but that argument was also rejected. Interestingly, both Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s two high court appointees, voted in favor of turning in the records, joining with the majority.
Supreme Court Justices voting against the president who appointed them is not unprecedented, as it has happened in the past to both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. In what were each unanimous decisions, the Supreme Court ruled to require Nixon to turn over White House recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor, and they allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against Clinton to move forward. Notably, Nixon eventually resigned from office, but Clinton completed two terms as president.