One of the first major controversies surrounding Trump during the early stages of his presidential campaign was his refusal to release his tax forms. Candidates releasing their tax information is standard, but Trump's refusal lead to speculation that he hasn't paid taxes in a long time. The subject of Trump's financial history has become a major target of attack, as he's presided over a series of failed businesses, that he's been propped up by shady overseas money, the financial irregularities surrounding his charities, and that he has consistently defrauded contractors assigned to work for him.
Many prosecutors have tried to get access to his records to no avail but the Supreme Court has ruled in two key cases that the president is not not "categorically immune" from having his pre-presidential financial records released to a New York grand jury. The first of the two cases involved Trump attempting to block the grand jury subpoena of his records to the various institutions like Deutsche Bank, Capital One and Mazars USA, the banks and accounting firm that Trump and his family did and continue to do much of their business with. The vote was 7 to 2 with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion for the majority.
"Deutsche Bank is sitting on a trove of records ... Trump's innermost financial secrets," said David Enrich, business investigations editor at The New York Times and author of Dark Towers, a book about Trump and Deutsche Bank.
"It's basically a black box," Enrich observed. "And Deutsche Bank is one of the few institutions in the world that has the keys to unlock it." Trump has previously taken out multibillion-dollar loans from Deutsche Bank, but the relationship extends beyond that, according to Enrich. The bank also managed his assets and "provided matchmaking services that connected Trump with wealthy individuals, including some very wealthy, well-connected Russians who were looking to invest in American real estate," Enrich says.
The second case decided that the lower court needs to consider separation of power issues around the congressional subpoenas, which suggests that Congress doesn't have unlimited powers to investigate the president.
It pissed off Trump, who tweeted, "the Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!"
His attorney, Jay Sekulow, commented, "We are pleased that in the decisions issued today, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked both Congress and New York prosecutors from obtaining the President's financial records. We will now proceed to raise additional Constitutional and legal issues in the lower courts," Sekulow said in a statement.
This decision has been announced as a victory by Trump's adversaries. "The Court has reaffirmed the Congress's authority to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people, as it asks for further information from the Congress," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement, vowing that Congress will "continue to conduct oversight" and to "press our case in the lower courts."
At the heart of these cases is the issues around presidents with huge business interests from using his office to enrich himself. Trump has been tied into broad investigations surrounding everything from directing government delegations to do business at his Mar-A-Lago resort to paying adult film performer Stormy Daniels hush money for an affair during the 2016 presidential campaign.