In a piece for Vanity Fair, columnist Eric Lutz addressed the degree to which President Donald Trump is in trouble after the ruling by the Supreme Court on his financial records.
Trump has spent the better part of four years fighting any transparency about his finances and taxes, which many have suspected might reveal illegal activity.
“He’s not going to release his tax returns,” said senior adviser Kellyanne Conway in 2017. “We litigated this all through the election. People didn’t care.”
In fact, people do care. In 2016 polls showed people wanted to see his tax returns. In 2019 polls showed that Americans still want Trump to turn over his information.
“The rulings Thursday might not mean the public gets to see those tax returns any time soon,” wrote Lutz. New York Prosecutor Cyrus Vance may still be in for a fight, as Trump’s lawyers might have an opportunity to quibble with the specifics of the subpoena. Trump attorney Jay Sekulow vowed on Thursday to take the cases against both New York and Congressional investigators back to the lower courts, which could delay the documents’ release until after the election.”
That didn’t stop Trump from spiraling into a meltdown with a series of all-caps rage tweets that it was all a hoax and witch hunt.
So, what’s next? While the court cases are the end of another long war demanding transparency from a president who refuses to give it, it’s actually just the beginning of the next battle.
During her press conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the ruling gave guidance for how they intend to proceed in the lower courts, and they do intend to keep litigating the case.
“The decision in Vance’s case is a bit more straightforward; in maintaining that the chief executive is ‘neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need,’ Trump can’t categorically block the grand jury,” explained Lutz. “For a president who seems to have a great deal to hide, the ruling could present a major threat.”
“This is a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one—not even a president—is above the law,” Vance said in a statement in the wake of the ruling. “Our investigation, which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit, will resume, guided as always by the grand jury’s solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead.”