US Democrats pledge to continue fight for Donald Trump's financial records

Supreme Court denied request for president's tax returns

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks on the Supreme Court rulings on two cases seeking to acquire President Trump's financial records. EPA
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks on the Supreme Court rulings on two cases seeking to acquire President Trump's financial records. EPA

US Democrats will continue their legal battle for access to President Donald Trump's financial records after the Supreme Court ruled against them.

The court also ruled on Thursday that Mr Trump must disclose his records to New York prosecutors.

But because of grand jury secrecy laws, the documents will probably remain sealed unless he is charged with a crime.

The two decisions mean voters are unlikely to see Mr Trump's tax returns and other financial documents before the November 3 election.

Several Democrats said they were disappointed with the ruling but predicted they would succeed in the long run.

"I am confident our committee ultimately will prevail," House oversight committee chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said.

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives, said she would keep up the fight in lower courts for Mr Trump's records to be handed over to Congress.

“The path that the Supreme Court has laid out is clearly achievable by us,” Ms Pelosi said,

She said the ruling was “not good news for the president".

Responding to the rulings, Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, reshared a video of himself addressing president Trump in 2019.

"Mr President, release your tax returns or shut up," Mr Biden said in the video from 2019, which showed he had shared 21 years of tax returns with the public.

Mr Trump rejected the Supreme Court rulings as "not fair" as he railed against the cases on Twitter, calling them a “political witch hunt” and "prosecutorial misconduct".

Prosecutors were asking the court to force Mr Trump to comply with subpoena requests for his financial information.

The case from New York prosecutors concerned a subpoena sent by the state of New York to the President’s accounting firm.

It was part of an investigation into whether Mr Trump falsified business records to cover up alleged “hush money” paid to two women with whom he is accused of having affairs.

The second case pitted Democrats against the president’s lawyers in a sweeping trial involving four subpoenas for his financial records, which were issued by various House committees.

The Democrats’ lawyers said the records were necessary to complete an investigation into whether there should be amendments to federal laws on campaigning, ethics and separation of powers.

House Democrats have been examining whether Mr Trump's business dealings involved money laundering or left him vulnerable to foreign influence.

The court rejected the arguments made in favour of the House's ability to investigate the president and sent the case to lower courts for further review.

During his administration, Mr Trump has appointed two Supreme Court justices to the panel of nine.

The two, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both voted with the more liberal-leaning justices in the 7-2 majority votes.

Published: July 10, 2020 01:55 AM

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