(TNS) Late Friday, President Donald Trump and his administration received a well-deserved legal victory.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to examine three cases tied to subpoenas issued by the Democrat-run House Oversight and Financial committees as well as New York state prosecutors seeking to obtain the president’s financial records.
All of these subpoenas are political — everybody knows that. But because they are subpoenas, they have legal merit.
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Still, the subject of those subpoenas — the president’s financial records — may not be meritorious in terms of what information these Democrats are seeking.
In addition to the Trump subpoenas, two banks were served as well. Thus far, lower federal courts have upheld the subpoenas (Obama judge alert).
The president’s attorneys consider these subpoenas an unlawful intrusion into his privacy as well as yet another partisan effort to search for a crime. As such, they are attempting to block access to the information. Arguments are to be heard in March and a ruling by the high court will likely come in June.
House Democrats say their interest in Trump’s financial records come from payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign.
“The Office of Government Ethics found those payments were improperly recorded as legal fees” to the President’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Also, they cite statements made by Cohen during his Congressional testimony, who accused Trump of inflating the values of his assets on loan applications and deflating their values for tax purposes.
So, we know exactly what the Democrats’ interest is.
After the high court’s decision to review, President Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow said, “We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the president’s three pending cases. These cases raise significant constitutional issues. We look forward to presenting our written and oral arguments.”
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, these “investigations are unrelated to the abuse-of-power and obstruction charges against the President that the House Judiciary Committee approved in the impeachment case earlier Friday.”
POLITICO additionally noted:
House officials have suggested they plan to press on with most of the legal battles, but not hold up impeachment action to wait for the courts to rule. However, one of the two articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee approved earlier Friday is based on Trump’s decision to refuse the House’s demands for documents and testimony from key Trump aides.
Elizabeth Vaughn at Red State:
I disagree. The second article charges that Trump “has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives.” Stripping out the matter of Trump’s financial records weakens what was a rather pathetic case against the President to begin with.
The article is left with the refusal of White House officials (claiming executive privilege) to appear before the House impeachment inquiry committees. House Democrats, who are in a hurry to get this done, elected not to fight those claims in court and chose instead, to add it to their articles of impeachment.
Vaughn noted further that constitutional law professor Alan Dershowitz believes this is all a major legal victory for the president.
During an appearance Friday night on Hannity, he said:
Look, the most important development happened today. The Supreme Court of the United States absolutely pulled the rug out of part two of the impeachment referral by granting certiorari, by granting review in a case where Trump challenged a congressional subpoena.
And the Supreme Court said we’re going to hear this case.…Think of what that message is – It’s Trump was right.
You don’t have to comply with a subpoena of Congress unless a court tells you you have to comply. Now, we don’t know how the Supreme Court is going to come out, but they made it clear that’s a viable issue.
So that charge, that ground of impeachment, should be immediately removed by the House and not sent to the Senate. There’s nothing to it anymore after the Supreme Court today said you’re entitled to a review on an issue when the President challenges the subpoena power of Congress. It’s all done. It’s over.
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