Roberts, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh Reject Trump’s Assertion of ‘Absolute Immunity’ From State Criminal Subpoenas
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a pair of eagerly awaited decisions today in cases arising from efforts by the Manhattan district attorney and by members of Congress to subpoena the financial records of President Donald Trump and several of his business entities. The cases are Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars USA.
Trump lost big in Trump v. Vance. At issue was a subpoena filed by the New York County District Attorney’s Office seeking financial records from Mazars USA, LLP, the longtime accounting firm of both Trump and various businesses tied to him. Trump’s lawyers told the Supreme Court that the president should enjoy “absolute immunity” from such state legal actions while in office. As the Court put it, Trump “argues that the Supremacy Clause gives a sitting President absolute immunity from state criminal subpoenas because compliance with those subpoenas would categorically impair a President’s performance of his Article II functions.”
The Supreme Court resoundingly rejected that position. “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,” declared the majority opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts. “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 ne
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