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Listen: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Trump Tax Return Cases


The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday regarding subject matter near and dear to President Donald Trump: his money. In the cases Trump v. Mazars, Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, and Trump v. Vance, justices are being asked to consider if Congress and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance can subpoena banks and other entities (i.e., third parties) for POTUS’s financial records.

You can listen to live audio in the player above starting at 10 a.m. EST, or join Law&Crime founder Dan Abrams as he hosts live coverage on the Law&Crime Network. He, chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross and guests are set to analyze real-time arguments from the nation’s highest court.

The ramifications of this case are multifaceted. There’s the political, of course. Then-candidate Trump refused to release his tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign, even though he once said he would and even though it would’ve been customary to do so. Trump claimed that he would release tax returns after a “routine audit” was completed. The refusal continues to this day, and it has been a long road for everyone involved. But the fight also touches on the extent of executive power, and how far a president can go in opposing the legislative branch and states in investigating him for possible illegal conduct.

The president’s legal team argues that such an investigation interferes with his Article II authority. From their petition for a writ of certiorari in Mazars:

This is a case of firsts. It is the first time that Congress has subpoenaed personal records of a sitting President. It is the first time that Congress has issued a subpoena, under the guise of its legislative powers, to investigate the President for illegal conduct. And, it is the first time a court has upheld any congressional subpoena for any sitting President’s records of any kind. Now, under the D.C. Circuit’s decision, Congress can subpoena any private records it wishes from the President on the mere assertion that it is considering legislation that might require presidents to disclose that same information. Given the obvious temptation to investigate the personal affairs of political rivals, subpoenas concerning the private lives of presidents will become routine in times of divided government.

No surprise here, but the respondents argue that POTUS is hindering their abilities to do their job.

“Here, each day of delay harms Congress by depriving it of important information it needs to carry out its constitutional responsibilities,” they write. “That harm outweighs any harm Applicants might suffer from Mazars’ compliance with the subpoena.”

Trump lawyers have argued that Congress has no legitimate legislative purpose for obtaining the president’s private records. They have also argued a county prosecutor like Vance has no business “subject[ing] the President of the United States to criminal process.”

[Image via Drew Angerer/Getty Images]

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