Supreme Court temporarily blocks House subpoena of Trump financial records
The Supreme Court has issued a temporary stay of an appeals court ruling that granted House Democrats access to President Trump’s financial records, Chief Justice John Roberts announced Monday.
Trump’s lawyers had appealed the ruling, which was set to go into effect Wednesday.
The subpoena from the House Oversight and Reform Committee will be unenforceable while the Supreme Court decides whether to take up the case or prolong Roberts’s administrative stay. The panel is seeking eight years of Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm.
Trump’s lawyers argue that the committee has no legitimate purpose in seeking the documents.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, Congress has subpoenaed the personal records of a sitting president from before he was in office,” Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal attorneys, said in a statement last week. “And, for the first time in our nation’s history, a court upheld a congressional subpoena to the president for his personal papers. Those decisions are wrong and should be reversed.”
A three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in a 2-1 decision that the House could subpoena the records. The circuit court later denied Trump’s request to rehear the case.
The Oversight Committee said in a letter to the court on Monday that it would agree to a temporary stay to allow the justices to weigh in.
Trump has asserted broad claims of immunity from congressional and law enforcement subpoenas as part of a legal battle being fought on multiple fronts between the White House and House Democrats.
It’s still unclear whether the Supreme Court will take up Trump’s appeal. If it does, it would be asked to resolve some unanswered constitutional questions about the power of the executive branch.
House Democrats will file a response to the Trump motion by the end of the week.
Trump’s emergency stay request on Friday came a day after his personal attorneys asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a separate New York suit to prevent the release of his tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors.
–John Kruzel contributed to this report, which was updated at 2:38 p.m.