WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is shielding President Donald Trump’s financial records from House Democrats for now.
The delay announced late Monday allows the justices to decide how to handle the House subpoena and a similar demand from the Manhattan district attorney at the same time.
The House’s quest for the records is not part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, but the court’s action probably means Democrats will not have the records before an expected vote on impeachment by year’s end.
The justices are giving Trump until Dec. 5 to file a full appeal of a lower court ruling calling for his accountants to turn over the records. The president’s lawyers are certain to comply, and the court’s decision about whether to take up the case is expected by mid-January.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform had argued that Trump’s case was too weak to earn a delay from the court. There was no noted dissent from the court’s unsigned order.
The New York case centers on Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s subpoena for Trump’s tax returns from the same accounting firm, Mazars USA. Legal briefs have been filed by both sides in that case.
The justices now should be able to say at the same time whether they will take up the cases and decide them by late June.
If they opt to reject Trump’s appeals, the House and Vance would be able to enforce their subpoenas immediately. Mazars has said it would comply with any legal obligation.