The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in two cases that could help decide the limits of presidential accountability and whether ,
President Trump can continue to defy lawmakers and local prosecutors seeking to view his tax and business records. While past decisions on presidential accountability involving Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton had unanimous outcomes, questions from the nine justices did not leave observers of the unprecedented ,
Live arguments with a clear sense of how the court might rule. Trump’s returns have been the subject of intense speculation since the 2016 election, when he broke with long-standing tradition and became the first modern presidential candidate not to make his returns public.
Since then, multiple investigators, including House Democrats, have sought the documents amid questions about Trump’s foreign business ties and potential conflicts of interest involving his real estate empire. Along with deciding the fate of Trump’s financial secrets, the pair of Supreme Court cases have major implications for the rule of law; they will determine the investigative powers, if any, that state and local officials or Congress have over the president. It’s a question that has added urgency for those Trump critics ,
Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. If the Justice Department is indeed uninterested in pursuing investigations against the Trump administration, that leaves Congress and local officials as one of the last sources of potential presidential accountability.
The first case heard by the court concerned subpoenas for financial records that committees of the House of Representatives had issued to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, and to one of his major bankers, Both Mazars and Deutsche Bank have said they intend to comply with a valid subpoena, and in both cases, lower courts held the subpoenas to be valid.