WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump cannot keep his tax returns and financial records away from a New York City prosecutor pursuing possible hush-money payments.
The landmark ruling carries political as well as legal and constitutional implications for the president and law enforcement officials who have argued the records could reveal evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The ruling is one of two Thursday by the court regarding whether investigators will have access to Trump's financial records. The other case involves subpoenas issued by three House committees controlled by Democrats.
The 7-2 ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump's two court nominees, Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, concurred.
"Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding," the chief justice wrote. "We reaffirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need."