The United States Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear President Donald Trump‘s appeals in three separate cases to prevent his financial records, including tax returns, being handed over to Democratic-led House of Representatives committees and a New York prosecutor.
The Republican president is trying to block subpoenas for bank records, tax returns or other materials demanded by various Democratic-led House of Representatives committees investigating corruption or foreign meddling in the US elections process.
The House probes are not part of the Democratic-led impeachment proceedings against Trump over his dealings with Ukraine.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, is seeking Trump’s tax returns in a criminal investigation of the president, the Trump Organization and his family real estate business.
The cases are a test for how the justices view Trump’s arguments that the subpoenas are a threat to the presidency, on the one hand, and the need for legislators or prosecutors for information to pursue legislation or criminal investigations on the other.
The court has a 5-4 conservative majority including two Trump appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
One of the cases is Trump’s appeal of a lower court ruling allowing a New York grand jury to subpoena his accounting firm Mazars LLP for his records.
Trump’s lawyers said prosecutors could be encouraged to investigate a president to advance their careers or score political points if that subpoena is enforced.
Another case concerns a lower court decision in Washington that endorsed subpoenas issued by the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee to Mazars.
Trump’s lawyers say there was no legislative purpose for the subpoenas and that the aim was merely to dig for dirt on the president.
In the third case, Trump is attempting to put on hold a lower court ruling allowing the enforcement of separate House committee subpoenas targeting Trump-related financial records from Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp.
The lower court rulings in the congressional cases, if left intact, would bring House Democrats closer to getting some of the details about Trump’s business interests.
That outcome would also amount to a major blow for the president, who, unlike past presidents, has refused to publicly disclose his tax returns.
Legal experts say the justices often hear cases when the president asks them to, but that does not mean Trump will ultimately prevail.