The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a New York prosecutor can obtain President Donald Trump's financial records but prevented - at least for now - the Democratic-led House of Representatives from obtaining similar documents.
The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2020
Unlike other recent presidents, Trump has refused to release his tax returns and other documents that could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization. The content of these records has remained a persistent mystery even as he seeks re-election on November 3. Thursday's rulings represent another milestone in Trump's tumultuous presidency.
House committees issued subpoenas seeking Trump's financial records from his longtime accounting firm Mazars LLP and two banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
As part of a criminal investigation by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, subpoenas were issued to Mazars for financial records including nearly a decade of Trump's tax returns to be turned over to a grand jury in New York City.
The investigation launched by Vance's office in 2018 into Trump and the Trump Organization was spurred by disclosures of hush payments to two women who said they had past sexual relationships with him, pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Trump and his aides have denied the relationships.
In the litigation over the House subpoenas, Trump argued that Congress lacked a valid purpose for seeking his records and that disclosure of the material would compromise his and his family's privacy and distract him from his duties.
US President Donald Trump thrusts his fist as he arrives on the White House South Lawn to host a 4th of July 2020 Salute to America to celebrate the US Independence Day holiday at the White House in Washington, US. (Reuters)
The House Oversight Committee in April 2019 issued a subpoena to Mazars seeking eight years of accounting and other financial information in response to the congressional testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer. Cohen said Trump had inflated and deflated certain assets on financial statements between 2011 and 2013 in part to reduce his real estate taxes.
The House Financial Services Committee has been examining possible money laundering in US property deals involving Trump. In a separate investigation, the House Intelligence Committee is investigating whether Trump's dealings left him vulnerable to the influence of foreign individuals or governments.