As President Trump travels the inevitably rocky road toward reelection, some of the pitfalls along the way loom rather large.
That’s not to say that he’s in danger of losing the battle with Joe Biden – that’s not the prevailing feeling here. What is up for debate is just how many of his opponents’ longstanding gripes will come home to roost in the next four months.
From the very beginning of Trump’s political career, his opponents have been pressuring him to release his tax returns. Trump has deferred on several occasions, citing his lawyers’ advice and an ongoing audit.
A recent ruling from the Supreme Court just threw a wrench in the gears, however.
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 during the 2016 White House race.
At the same time, the court temporarily blocked congressional investigators from gaining access to many of the same records. It sent the effort by House Democrats back to a lower court for further review of the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches.
Both 7-2 decisions were written by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined by Trump’s two nominees, Associate Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. The court’s two other conservatives, Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, dissented.
Chief Justice John Roberts seemed to imbue a “resistance” message in his ruling.
“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,” Roberts 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.”
One can only imagine that the coming backlash from the White House will be fierce.
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