The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether President Trump can block the release of his financial records, setting the stage for a blockbuster ruling on the power of presidents to resist demands for information from prosecutors and Congress.
The court’s ruling, expected by June, could require disclosure of information the president has gone to extraordinary lengths to protect. Or the justices could rule that Mr. Trump’s financial affairs are not legitimate subjects of inquiry so long as he remains in office.
Either way, the court is now poised to produce a once-in-a-generation statement on presidential accountability.
The case will test the independence of the court, which is dominated by Republican appointees, including two named by Mr. Trump. In earlier Supreme Court cases in which presidents sought to avoid providing evidence, the rulings did not break along partisan lines.
To the contrary, the court was unanimous in ruling against Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton in such cases, with Nixon and Clinton appointees voting against the presidents who had placed them on the court. The Nixon case led to his resignation in the face of mounting calls for his impeachment. The Clinton case led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, though he survived a Senate vote on his removal.
Mr. Trump asked the court to block three sets of subpoenas, and the justices agreed to decide his appeals in all three. The court said that arguments would be held over two hours in late March or early April, but it did not specify the date. [Continue reading…]