Court Hawk
President Trump sitting in chair with scowl across his face
Fortune

Supreme Court Denies House Oversight Committee’s Request for Trump’s Tax Returns

Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the House Oversight Committee and New York prosecutors’ request for President Trump’s tax returns and financial records.

Trump’s lawyers argued that the president isn’t obligated to hand over his financials since it is illegal for him to undergo criminal investigation while in office.

A Demand for Trump’s Records

Since before the 2016 election, Democrats have demanded that President Trump release years worth of tax returns and financial documents. Traditionally, presidential candidates are forthcoming with their financial records and have had no issue with releasing them voluntarily. However, that has not been the case with President Trump.

House of Representatives’ legal counsel Douglas Letter claims that financial records are necessary in order to confirm “whether senior government officials, including the president, are acting in the country’s best interest and not in their own financial interest…”

Letter also argues that the president should not have the “right to stall any congressional subpoena to which he objects through the months or years that it takes for a challenge to work its way through the lower courts.” He states that the goal is more transparency, not less.

Unconstitutional Subpoena Would Invoke Slippery Slope

The California Supreme Court held fast to the belief that part of the Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act signed during the summer was unconstitutional. Trump’s lawyers claim that the committee is not acting within its given legislative boundaries. Rather, it’s attempting to enforce the law, something that it wasn’t designed to do.

The president’s lawyers also stated that if the subpoena was enforced, it would lead to allowing any committee to force a presidential candidate to hand over private information regarding it as “related legislation.”

“Given the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals,” Trump’s lawyers stated, “intrusive subpoenas into personal lives of Presidents will become our new normal in times of divided government—no matter which party is in power.”

Trump Promises to Release Records Prior to 2020 Election

Last Thursday, President Trump sent out a tweet announcing that he will voluntarily release his tax returns and other relevant financial information before the 2020 election:

“I’m clean, and when I release my financial statement (my decision) sometime prior to Election, it will only show one thing – that I am much richer than people even thought – And that is a good thing. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!”