In a watershed moment in history, the Supreme Court of the United States handed the Democrats a tremendous victory. It ruled that Deutsche Bank, which holds the majority of Donald Trump’s financial records must turn them over to a Grand Jury. Democrats in the House have been especially interested in the outcome of this ruling, because their committees need those details to do their presidential oversight.
This constitutional ruling is very important for a number of reasons. Trump’s financial disclosures and subpoenas restore the balance of power among the three branches. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is usually reluctant to take on these cases, so Thursday’s ruling was particularly important.
Of course, Grand Jury materials cannot be released until they are made public in a trial. New York Attorney General Letitia James fought all the way to the top of the government’s court system for this win. The basic ruling from SCOTUS was that no man or woman is above the law.
Speaker of the. House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) immediately released a tweet cheering that “No one is above the law:”
‘In the United States, #NoOneIsAboveTheLaw — not even the President.’
Pelosi held a press conference very shortly after the ruling, saying that this was “not a good ruling” for Donald Trump. Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the Executive and Legislative branches normally work these kinds of disputes. However, she said the Supreme Court had to intervene in this case. Pelosi said this reshapes the balance of powers:
‘This reaffirms Congress’ authority, its constitutional responsibility to uncover the truth, the separation of powers that was the genius of the Constitution. And it reaffirms Congress’ authority.’
The Deutsche Bank, which holds the bulk of the president’s financial records, reams of documents, has said that it would comply with the Supreme Court ruling and release his privately-held financial papers. Employees of the bank have reported instances of money laundering, but the bank quashed them.
There are four primary questions that must be answered for the SCOTUS to rule favorably in a case such as this. The following criteria were met:
- Can the materials be obtained elsewhere? No.
- Is the request too broad? No.
- Does obtaining the materials serve a legislative purpose? Yes.
- Is obtaining these records too burdensome for the president? No.
The Democratically led House Oversight Committee chaired by Maxine Waters (D-CA) also has been investigating POTUS and has a case going through the lower court system to obtain Trump’s financial records, too. The judge in a lower court decided to wait for the Supreme Court to rule, to determine how it would rule.
- If Trump leaves office in 2020, he can be prosecuted as an individual.
- If he wins, any federal crime expires after five years.
- If a committee can obtain these records, that information might be exposed before the 2020 presidential elections.
The Oversight Committee chaired by Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) also has a separate case regarding Trump’s financial records. A lower-court judge said that it would wait to rule until after this SCOTUS ruling. The Justice Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and the Intelligence Committee chaired by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) both investigated Trump for the impeachment trial, where Trump ignored their subpoenas.
Chief Justice John Roberts noted that the courts did not like to become involved in conflicts between the other two branches. However, there was no alternative in this case, because the Executive Branch would not participate in the traditional negotiation process.
Trump’s two appointed justice, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch voted against him and in the unanimous SCOTUS decision.
Twitter world went crazy after SCOTUS ruled that a state’s attorney general can obtain Trump’s legal documents for a Grand Jury. Check out what American has to say about that below:
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.