We previously discussed the line of negative rulings in President Donald Trump’s effort to withhold his tax records from New York prosecutors. The Trump legal team has made, in my view, untenured and unsupportable constitutional claims of immunity. President Trump claims that “the District Attorney’s issuance of criminal process demanding the President’s records violates the immunity that he holds under Article II and the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.” That would create an unstated, sweeping immunity under the Constitution — an immunity never suggested, let alone stated, by the Framers. Now, like a bad gambler at Vegas, the team is doubling down again with an appeal to the Supreme Court. This is an example of a bad case making bad law for the presidency.
While this is the first time that the question of a presidential tax records will go before the Court, the underlying arguments have been heard before in terms of unlimited claims of executive privilege or immunities. The filing seems more an effort to delay than prevail given the extreme character of the underlying arguments.
The filing argues that “For the first time in our nation’s history, a state or local prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation of the President of the United States and subjected him to coercive criminal process.”
I believe that this is a continuation of a reckless litigation strategy that is racking up losses for the presidency.