Trump asks Supreme Court to overturn yet another court ruling and protect his financial records
On Thursday, just minutes ahead of a noon deadline, Donald Trump appealed to the Supreme Court, asking them to overturn a congressional subpoena demanding eight years of financial records. The subpoena has already held up to multiple challenges in federal court, but with Trump playing out every step to the last minute, the course of this single subpoena through the courts has now taken over seven months … and counting.
In January, the newly-seated Democratic congress sent a request for Trump’s financial records held by accounting firm Mazars. However, Trump fought that request, despite a series of negotiations with Congress. In May, House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings issued a subpoena, which Trump immediately appealed, and which a federal judge immediately put on a “fast track” for decision. Only days later, that a judge berated Trump’s attorneys over their claims of absolute immunity and ordered the documents released. Almost immediately, Trump took the fight to the Court of Appeals, and the fast track became a lot … less … fast. It wasn’t until October before that court once again upheld the subpoena and ordered Trump to turn over the financial records. Trump appealed that decision to the full court and lost again in November. But on November 25, the Supreme Court acted to place a stay on that order.
That stay gave Trump until noon on December 5 to file a petition to the Supreme Court. And he did. The Supreme Court has not formally taken up the appeal, but it seems likely they will—even though this kind of case, where Trump has lost repeatedly, decisively, at every level—is not the sort of decision that usually deserves attention from the Court.
A similar case asking that Trump’s documents be turned over to the Manhattan District Attorney is due to be the subject of a Supreme Court closed-door meeting on December 13. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Trump lost another appeal concerning loan documents from Deutsche Bank. It’s likely that the court will take up all three cases, and may well delay ruling on any of them until decisions are prepared on all. In which case, the ultimate disposition of these cases could still be months away — and that’s assuming the Supreme Court gives a thumbs up or thumbs down, rather than kicking one or more cases back to another court with fresh instructions.