The Supreme Court began hearing two intertwined cases today, both involving Donald Trump’s tax returns. One case is focused on whether the House should be allowed to have them, and the other is focused on whether prosecutors in New York State should be allowed to obtain Trump’s tax returns and put them in front of a grand jury.
It’s difficult to predict which way these rulings will go. John Roberts will likely be the deciding vote. He tends to make decisions based on whatever he thinks will give him the most influence over the court going forward, as opposed to what the Constitution says. So while Roberts very well could rule against Trump (this is the guy who saved Obamacare after all), we can’t count on that. Meanwhile, everyone is overlooking the two words in this case that really matter: grand jury.
One of the reasons this SCOTUS case exists is that prosecutors in New York State have an active grand jury going against Donald Trump, and that grand jury tried to subpoena Trump’s tax returns. Grand juries literally only exist for one reason: to criminally indict people. The mere existence of this SCOTUS case is proof that New York is in the process of indicting Trump, with the intention of arresting him as soon as it’s allowed to.
New York prosecutors already have access to more than enough evidence, from Michael Cohen and others, to indict Donald Trump for a variety of financial crimes. Whether the Supreme Court gives these prosecutors Trump’s tax returns or not, it’s a given that if Trump loses the election, New York will swiftly indict and arrest him on state charges – and no president can pardon state charges. The real story here is that if Trump loses the election, he goes to prison, regardless of how this SCOTUS ruling goes. No wonder Trump is so nervous.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report