The United States Supreme Court has blocked the release of U.S. President, Donald Trump’s tax returns to Congress but granted access to a New York District Attorney carrying out a criminal investigation against the U.S. President. The Court however ruled that neither party can have access to Trump’s financial records for now.
The Supreme Court heard two arguments involving the release of Donald Trump’s tax and financial records by telephone in May. Although it was speculated that both cases will be tied together, the Justices separated them, granting one and returning the other to a lower court.
Donald Trump’s lawyers had argued against the demand for his tax and financial returns by a New York prosecutor investigating hush-money payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump. They said at the time that a sitting U.S. President cannot be investigated and granting the requests will lead to harassment of future U.S. Presidents.
Several House Committees had also asked the Supreme Court to grant access to the financial records of the US President, especially records from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and Mazars USA accounting firm. They subpoenaed the bank documents as part of an investigation into Donald Trump as well as his businesses due to several bail out loans offered to Trump by Deutsche Bank after a series of bankruptcies starting in the 1990’s.
A House Oversight and Reform Committee is also seeking to get financial records of the President from Mazars regarding payments to two women by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer during the 2016 Presidential election.
Lower courts in Washington and New York had ruled that the documents be turned over, but the rulings were put on hold pending the decision of the Supreme Court.
The lower courts had dismissed Trump’s Defence saying the records being asked for are the business and financial dealings he had as a private citizen.