Once the Supreme Court rules on an ongoing legal battle, not only is that battle instantly over, it tends to have a reverberating effect on other related legal battles. So it’s not surprising that last night’s Supreme Court ruling, which rejected Donald Trump’s claim that January 6th-related evidence is covered by executive privilege, is already impacting lower court rulings.
After the January 6th Committee obtained the financial records of Taylor Budowich to try to follow the January 6th money trail, Budowich filed suit to try to force the committee to give the financial records back. This effort seemed doomed from the start; the question was how long it would drag on in court and how much of a delay there would be.
But today the judge in the case ruled against Budowich and in favor of the January 6th Committee, citing the Supreme Court’s ruling in his decision. This means that the committee can now proceed with using Budowich’s financial records as part of its probe. It also means that the judge in the case just set the precedent that the Supreme Court’s ruling against Trump’s privilege claim also applies to his underlings.
In other words a whole lot of Trump world people who have been subpoenaed by the January 6th Committee, but were hoping to drag it out all year in court, now have to worry that the courts will instead rule swiftly that they must cooperate. It’ll also make it a lot easier for the committee to make criminal contempt referrals, knowing the DOJ will almost certainly indict on all of them. This in turn could prompt some of these Trump world folks to conclude that they’re going to need to go ahead and cooperate in order to avoid prison time. We’ll see who starts caving.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report