Calls for President Trump’s financial documents will remain blocked, the Supreme Court said, sending a controversial case back to the lower court for further scrutiny.
Court President John Roberts wrote a 7-2 opinion. Judges Thomas and Alito disputed. The two presidential candidates voted by a majority.
About the case: The case has put the president’s personal lawyers against Democrats who say they need files from Trump’s long-term accounting firm and two banks. The House claimed to have requested the files from Mazars USA, Deutsche Bank and Capital One to investigate whether Congress should amend federal laws on conflict of interest and financial disclosure, as well as laws governing banks.
Lawyers for the House stressed that the calls were addressed to third parties, not the President, and that the documents were not related to his official duties. Trump has argued that there is no valid legal basis for the documents, and instead the House is working on a fishing mission to see if it has broken the law.
Key points from the oral arguments: In early MayTrump’s lawyers argued that the House’s calls were “unprecedented in every sense.”
When a House attorney spoke in favor of the calls made by three committees, several conservative judges focused on whether the efforts of the Democratic-led body were tantamount to harassing Trump.
For his part, Chief Justice John Roberts asked the lawyer about the limits of the powers of Congress and suggested that the House should take into account the fact that the calls concerned not an ordinary judge, but the President.
Liberal judges, meanwhile, have blamed lawyers for Trump, suggesting the court has long retained congressional authority to investigate.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that each recent president has voluntarily issued his tax returns. He noted previous research on Watergate, Whitewater and Paula Jones.
“How do you distinguish all these cases?” He asked, adding that before Congress can legislate, it must investigate.