Lawyer: Supreme Court ruling on Trump’s tax returns ‘could be bigger than impeachment’

November 18, 2019

While the Ukraine drama has sucked all the air out of Washington, the left isn’t quite giving up hope that other sideshows, like the battle over Donald Trump’s tax returns, will finally take down the president.

In a new piece for The Daily Beast, liberal attorney David R. Lurie argues that Trump’s tax returns could be exposed soon if the Supreme Court does not intervene to save him. Trump appealed to the Supreme Court last week to block the release of his tax returns after a federal appeals court voted against him, according to Law.com.

“Bigger than impeachment”

With a tone of triumph, Lurie notes in his article that the full D.C. Court of Appeals refused to reconsider a lower court ruling ordering President Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, to turn over his federal tax returns. President Trump’s lawyers made an appeal to Chief Justice John Roberts for an emergency stay on Friday, according to NPR.

If the Supreme Court does not take up Trump’s appeal, the president’s tax returns could soon be released after months and months of protracted legal battles. Justice Roberts bought Trump some time on Monday by temporarily blocking the lower court order requiring him to release his tax returns, although the highest court has not decided whether to actually take up Trump’s appeal, Fox News reported.

The Supreme Court has given House Democrats, who agreed to the temporary stay, until Thursday to respond. The subpoena will now remain unenforced until the Supreme Court, which will reconvene on Friday, makes a decision.

In a separate battle, Trump has appealed to the Supreme Court a lower court ruling requiring Mazars to turn over his tax returns to New York prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization. The twin court fights have set up a scenario in which SCOTUS must eventually intervene one way or another in the Democrats’ numerous legal pursuits of Trump — or what the president has called “presidential harassment.”

For his part, Lurie rosily presents the SCOTUS situation as a doomsday scenario for Trump that could prove “bigger” than impeachment itself. If the Supreme Court ultimately goes against him, then his defense against the impeachment may also begin to steadily crumble, the lawyer suggested.

Trump himself has argued that the impeachment is unconstitutional and illegitimate, but it’s not clear how the nominally nonpartisan SCOTUS would weigh in on such a politically fraught issue. Lurie, meanwhile, frames Trump’s efforts to block the release of his returns as a despotic attempt to quash legitimate “oversight” of his “misconduct” and criticizes the “wholly baseless” claim that Trump is entitled to due process.

Dems can’t pick a lane

While it remains unclear how the Supreme Court will decide the matter, what is clear is that Democrats have still not picked a lane in their pursuit of Trump. While nominally focusing on Ukraine, they have continued to chase the president over Russiagate — the House is investigating whether Trump lied to Robert Mueller, according to The New York Times, months after the Russia collusion hoax died with Mueller’s testimony — and the battle for his tax returns shows that they’re still scrambling for a pretext to overturn the 2016 election.

This may be more calculated than it appears. In case the impeachment circus proves inadequate to the task of taking down Trump (and Americans already appear to be tuning out the carnival as it starts losing steam), then Trump’s tax returns could provide presumably provide a consolation prize to the #Resistance.

But will it be enough? If the Ukraine matter is more incriminating than Watergate, as Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has claimed, and a SCOTUS decision on Trump’s tax returns is “bigger” than even that, then how bad could this scenario possibly be?

Like they’ve done many times before, Democrats are continuing to attack Trump with extreme rhetoric about his imminent demise. But they were wrong before. Will this time be any different?

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.