Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Friday, December 8, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Supreme Court Takes Up Cases on Trump Financial Secrecy

The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear President Donald Trump's attempts to keep his financial records out of the hands of New York prosecutors and congressional committees.

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear President Donald Trump's attempts to keep his financial records out of the hands of New York prosecutors and congressional committees.

As usual, the court did not explain its reasons for taking up three separate cases that have dogged the president in courts across the country.

Two of the cases concern subpoenas sent to Trump's longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, from the House Oversight and Reform Committee and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Those subpoenas, which are similar to one another, seek nearly a decade of Trump's financial records, including his tax returns. Vance issued the subpoena as part of an investigation his office is conducting into alleged hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The House Oversight Committee issued its subpoena as part of investigations into whether Trump made false statements about his wealth, including as part of his 2014 bid for a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills.

Trump has argued he is immune from both subpoenas. Through his private attorneys, Trump says the request from Vance's office is invalid because sitting presidents are immune from criminal process. Trump separately challenges the House subpoena as invalid on the grounds that it does not serve a legitimate legislative purpose. He also says the Oversight Committee does not have explicit authority to subpoena the president.

The D.C. and Second Circuit, respectively, have upheld decisions that found the subpoenas valid.

The third case concerns a sweeping subpoena served by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees on Deutsche Bank, seeking financial records from Trump, his businesses and members of his family as part of committee investigations.

Similar to the House Oversight subpoena, Trump attacked the Deutsche Bank request as invalid because it does not support a valid legislative purpose. He called the subpoena a "dragnet" effort to accuse Trump of crimes, turning the House from a legislative body into a law enforcement operation.

The Second Circuit sided with the committees last week in a 106-page opinion, ruling that lawmakers had a valid reason to seek the records.

Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to take up the cases.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the president's three pending cases," Sekulow said in a statement. "These cases raise significant constitutional issues. We look forward to presenting our written and oral arguments."

The court combined the cases concerning the subpoenas from House Democrats and added them to the court's March calendar.

In a joint statement, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney and Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters said they are hopeful the high court will endorse their efforts to get access to Trump 's financial records.

"Both the district courts and circuit courts found that Congress' subpoenas to the president's accountants and banks are valid and enforceable," the committees said. "While we are disappointed that Congress will now have to wait several more months to get a final ruling, we look forward to presenting our case to the Supreme Court and we are hopeful that the court will agree with these well-reasoned decisions."

Categories / Appeals, Financial, Government

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.