Donald Trump is already having the worst week of his presidency – and it’s only Tuesday night. Bill Taylor’s testimony blew the lid off Trump’s role in the Ukraine extortion scandal, while also dealing blows to Bill Barr and Gordon Sondland. Even as Trump licks his wounds tonight, he’s facing a crucial court battle in the morning that could make things much, much worse for him.
Days ago, the U.S. Appeals Court upheld a lower court ruling that accounting firm Mazars must turn over eight years of Donald Trump’s federal tax returns to the New York grand jury that’s targeting Trump for criminal indictment on state charges. Tomorrow morning, the Appeals Court will hear what could be Trump’s last attempt at an appeal on the matter. But that’s just the half of it.
Donald Trump tried to fight this case by arguing in court that a sitting president can’t be investigated, because a sitting president can’t be indicted. But when the lower court judge ruled that Trump’s tax returns must be turned over, he also ruled there there was essentially no legal basis for the DOJ memo about a sitting president being indicted. This established a strong legal precedent for getting that memo struck down. The Appeals Court could have plenty to say on this matter tomorrow.
If Trump loses tomorrow, he could still try to appeal this case to the Supreme Court. But given the clear and consistent rulings in the case thus far, there’s a strong chance the Supreme Court could decline to hear the case. If so, Mazars would be ordered to immediately give Trump’s tax returns to the grand jury, and there is every indication that Mazars would comply.
So we’re now just hours away from a court ruling that could put Donald Trump’s tax returns in the hands of a grand jury that’s seeking to indict him on state charges, and could strike down the premise that the grand jury can’t indict Trump while he’s in office. Tomorrow could be the ruling that ends up sending Trump to prison. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report