September 25, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg puts temporary hold on Trump financial records release

Democrats received some bad news yesterday, and what’s more, is who gave it to them.

On Friday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg put a temporary hold on a lower court order that required President Donald Trump’s banks to hand over his financial records to Democrats in Congress. 

Background

As a presidential candidate, Trump departed from precedent in deciding not to release his tax returns to the public. Since then, Democrats, certain that the president must be hiding something, something that they hope is impeachable, have been trying to get their hands Trump’s tax returns and, more broadly, all of his financial records. The president, of course, has been fighting to keep this information private in a battle that is currently being waged in the courts.

While there are several cases currently being argued about Trump’s finances, the relevant one here was brought by Trump and his legal team. They sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One in order to prevent the banks from giving Trump’s financial records to Congress, specifically to the Committee on Financial Services and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who had both subpoenaed the bank records.

Trump lost at the U.S. District Court level in May when Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the subpoenas could be enforced. Trump and his team then appealed the matter to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

There, just this past week, Trump lost again, with the court ordering the two banks to comply with the subpoenas by handing over the records.

Most recent developments

Now, facing the prospect of the banks handing over all kinds of personal financial information — including business transactions, investments, and even records linked to Trump’s children and immediate family — to Trump’s political enemies, the president and his team asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a hold on the 2nd Circuit’s ruling.

Led by Ginsburg, the High Court did just that.

Ginsburg issued an order that put a temporary hold on the 2nd Circuit ruling until December 13th. What this means is that the two banks will be prevented from handing over the requested financial records until that time.

What now?

The hold gives Trump and his legal team the time they need to decide how they want to proceed with the matter.

One thing they will no doubt be considering is whether to appeal the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. Considering that Trump does not want the banks to hand over this information and considering that the Supreme Court these days is a majority conservative body, the appeal would be expected.

Then, if the Supreme Court does decide to hear the matter, the possibility exists that it could be fast-tracked and that the judges would reach a decision by the summer.

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