The Supreme Court on Monday obstructed a House committee from immediately examining President Trump’s financial records after the president’s lawyers allowed an expedited review of a lower-court ruling ceding access.
The court’s action indicates that, even as Congress considers impeaching Trump, the court will initiate a careful consideration of the legal powers of Congress and state prosecutors to investigate the president while he is in office.
The court directed Trump’s lawyers to file a petition by Dec. 5, asserting why the court should accept the case for full briefing and oral argument. If the appeal is denied, the lower-court ruling will go into effect. If approved, the case probably will be heard this term, with a decision before the court adjourns at the end of June.
If Trump wants to keep the subpoena from going into effect, he must ask the court to hear the case on the merits by Dec. 5 at noon. Otherwise, the order will terminate, the D.C. Circuit’s decision will take effect, and Mazars will be forced to react to the subpoena. Moreover, if Trump makes this request but the justices decline to take the case, the order will still terminate. So Trump’s lawyers must now scramble to persuade the justices to hear this case in the coming months.