Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Bid to Shield Tax Returns
July 9, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a New York grand jury can obtain President Trump’s tax returns from the President’s accounting firm. In its decision from Trump v. Vance, the Court rejected the President's attempt to block the grand jury's subpoena. "Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding," the Court wrote. "We reaffirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need." EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case supporting disclosure. EPIC explained that President Trump broke with 40 years of precedent by concealing his tax records, even as he sought to collect sensitive voter and citizenship data from the public. "This is inverted liberty: privacy for the President and compelled disclosure of personal data for the public," EPIC argued. "That is antithetical to the structure and practice of modern democracies which safeguard the privacy of citizens and impose transparency obligations on political leaders, most notably the President." EPIC previously sought public release of President Trump's tax returns in EPIC v. IRS, arguing that disclosure was necessary to correct numerous factual misstatements made by the President. In EPIC v. IRS II, EPIC is seeking "offers-in-compromise" and related tax records of President Trump and his businesses.