The US Supreme Court will decide whether President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records can be checked by Congress and prosecutors, and the ruling may have huge political consequences.
Mr. Trump refused to share documents about his assets and business.
His lawyer argued that he enjoyed full immunity during his tenure.
The ruling will test this claim and have an impact on the extent to which US lawmakers can examine the president.
Even a congressional ruling does not necessarily make Mr. Trump open his tax returns before running for re-election in November.
Mr. Trump, who is making money as a real estate developer, is the first president to have not disclosed his tax returns since since the time of Richard Nixon in 1970.
He called the investigation of his tax affairs “witch hunting” and regarded the case of Congress as a means of politically harassing him.
Why did you refer this issue to the Supreme Court?
Two Democrat members controls the House of representative committees and the New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance who is also a democrat, requested the release of his tax returns and other information.
The subpoena-order to transfer the evidence-was issued last year to Mr. Trump’s accountants who is known as Mazars America, as well as the main Trump lenders, Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
The lower courts in Washington and New York ruled against the president in all cases, but these decisions have been put on hold until the final court decision.
After the bankruptcy of the company in the 1990s, Deutsche Bank was one of the few banks willing to lend to Mr. Trump, and the documents sought included records related to the president, the Trump Organization and his family.
Banks and accounting firms say they will release information if they give the order.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that Congress had no right to issue subpoenas and did not justify seeking records.
Disruptive revelations about President Trump’s financial affairs may damage the re-election campaign. Since critics accused him of improperly handling the coronavirus crisis, he has fallen sharply in opinion polls.
The New York investigation covered the alleged discreet payment of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen to two women-adult movie star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of them expressed a relationship with Trump.
Such payments may violate campaign funding laws. The president denied that this had happened
People have raised concerns that Trump’s business may have conflicts of interest.
At the hearing in May, Supreme Court judges debated how much Congress should review the president’s personal records.
In the New York case, they expressed doubts about Trump’s argument that the president could not be investigated during his tenure.
Although the court was passed with a conservative majority of 5-4, it included two Trump appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh
In the first two cases of presidential power, the Supreme Court unanimously acted in 1974, requesting President Nixon to hand over White House videotapes in the Watergate scandal. In 1997, the Supreme Court approved a sexual harassment suit against President Bill Clinton.
The judges appointed by Mr. Nixon and Mr. Clinton voted against these cases.