SCOTUS grants temporary stay in Trump financial documents case


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday put an administrative one-week hold on a lower court’s order for President Trump’s bank records to be turned over to Congress. Release of Trump’s Banking Records Delayed by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

Justice Ginsburg serves as the circuit justice for the Second Circuit, which is based in New York, and requires her to sign off on emergency stays in appeals cases.

The stay issued by Justice Ginsburg came just three days after the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said that Deutsche Bank and Capital One must cooperate with subpoenas of two Democratic-controlled committees in the House of Representatives.

The stay is in effect until Dec. 13 — the court’s next scheduled conference day — and is not considered an indication of any potential ruling by the Supreme Court in Mr. Trump’s appeal of the disclosure order, as well as Justice Ginsburg’s leanings in the records dispute.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers made an emergency request for the stay while their appeal is considered by the Supreme Court, which has also been thrust into similar legal battle over access to Mr. Trump’s accounting records [Mazars USA, in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals].

The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees are seeking a detailed accounting of Mr. Trump’s personal and business finances, as well as those of his companies and family members.

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Deutsche Bank is Mr. Trump’s primary lender after a string of bankruptcies and loan defaults cost other banks hundreds of millions of dollars; over the past two decades, the German bank lent him and his companies a total of well over $2 billion.

Mr. Trump sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to try to stop them from complying with the subpoenas for his financial records, which House Democrats expect would pull back the curtain on the president’s financial interests. Democrats are hoping that the documents reveal links between Mr. Trump and foreign governments.

As I’ve said previously, it is not at all certain that the U.S. Supreme Court will grant certiorari in these cases, given the long-standing legal precedents, including Supreme Court precedents, which support enforcement of congressional subpoenas in pursuit of its constitutional oversight function.

There is no basis at law for the Trump administration’s expansive “unitary executive” theory that there can be no investigations and no prosecution of the president, including congressional investigations, i.e., that he enjoys “absolute immunity” which extends to his businesses and business associates, and others with whom he does business (in this case his banks and accountants).

Not even the Roberts Supreme Court is going to accept this radical theory. If the court agrees to consider this appeal, it will be for the purpose of rebuking the Trump administration’s radical theory, and likely in an expedited fashion. To do otherwise would eviscerate the rule of law and constitutional separation of powers, and usher in an authoritarian dictatorship. Chief Justice John Roberts does not want the end of the Republic to be his historical legacy.