- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday a New York district attorney can obtain President Trump’s financial documents in a criminal probe.

The ruling was 7-2.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. wrote the opinion of the court and said the president cannot have absolute immunity from a state criminal subpoena. They remanded the case back to the lower court for further review.

“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,” he added.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. would have sided with the president.

The justices weighed whether Mr. Trump’s financial records can be obtained from a third party, like his accounting firm, in a state criminal probe while the president is in office. Eight years of the president’s tax records were also sought as part of a criminal probe by the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Mr. Trump’s legal team had argued that the president had immunity and the Democrats were seeking to harass him.

Mr. Vance called the court’s ruling on Thursday a major victory for the justice system.

“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. 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,” Mr. Vance said.

The president took to Twitter calling the case for his financial documents “political prosecution” and saying he is the victim of another political “witch hunt.”

“The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!”

He added, “Courts in the past have given ‘broad deference’. BUT NOT ME!”

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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