The Supreme Court upheld the power of Congress and state criminal prosecutors to demand access to a President’s personal financial records in two cases by votes of 7-2 in each. Only fascists Alito and Thomas dissented. However, while it was a principled win for democracy and the rule of law, it was a tactical win for Trump too in the short term, because the Court remanded both cases back to lower courts for further proceedings, and the President can continue his delaying tactics there probably until after the election.
Axios: “The Manhattan ruling, a 7-2 decision, is a stinging loss for Trump, who has fought relentlessly to keep these records secret. The state of play: The public likely won’t see Trump’s tax returns any time soon, because they’ve been subpoenaed as part of a secret grand jury process in New York.”
President Trump tweet storm after the Supreme Court ruling on his tax returns suggest he’s not very happy. He’s painting himself as the victim of a double standard in comparison to the “totally corrupt previous Administration.”
He also resurrected his conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “spied” on his campaign, complaining “nothing happens to them.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that although the Supreme Court ruling does not give the House of Representatives access to President Trump’s financial records, it gives them “a path,” ABC News reports.
Said Pelosi: “We have a path that the Supreme Court has laid out that we will certainly not ignore and we will never stop our oversight… There was never any way they were going to give us the records right now, but they would give us a path to the records.”
“The media’s been asking this question for four years, and for four years, the president has said the same thing, his taxes are under audit, and when they’re no longer under audit, he will release them.”
— White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, quoted by Axios, when asked why President Trump still won’t release his tax returns.
Fox News was ready to declare “victory” for President Trump after the Supreme Court ruled by a 7-2 margin that he must turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney. But then Judge Andrew Napolitano stepped in to say not so fast, the Daily Beast reports.
Said Napolitano: “It means that the president of the United States, President Trump and all of his successors and any of his predecessors for that matter, is not immune from criminal prosecution and is not immune from complying with the ordinary process. This is a defeat for the president.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation was not officially terminated at Oklahoma statehood, as justices issued a decision that may upend state jurisdiction in much of the former Indian Territory,” the Oklahoman reports.
“The decision is expected to have huge implications for criminal, and possibly civil, matters in most of eastern Oklahoma.”
Ron Brownstein: “Donald Trump is running for the presidency of an America that no longer exists…”
“Americans today are far more racially diverse, less Christian, better educated, more urbanized, and less likely to be married. In polls, they are more tolerant of interracial and same-sex relationships, more likely to acknowledge the existence of racial discrimination, and less concerned about crime.”
“Almost all of these changes complicate Trump’s task in trying to rally a winning electoral coalition behind his alarms against marauding ‘angry mobs,’ ‘far-left fascism,’ and ‘the violent mayhem we have seen in the streets of cities that are run by liberal Democrats.’ The Americans he is targeting with his messages of racial resentment and cultural backlash are uniformly a smaller share of American society now than they were then.”
“The judge in Michael Flynn’s criminal case asked a federal appeals court Thursday to reconsider its ruling last month ordering him to dismiss the prosecution of the former national security advisor to President Trump,” CNBC reports.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal that states hit hardest with coronavirus should consider “shutting down” again.
Said Fauci: “What we are seeing is exponential growth. It went from an average of about 20,000 to 40,000 and 50,000. That’s doubling. If you continue doubling, two times 50 is 100… Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) warned that his state has had three weeks “going in the wrong direction” in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, WWL reports.
Edwards said Louisiana had lost all gains made against COVID-19 in June and now are seeing new case numbers rivaling peaks seen in April.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley criticized Confederate symbols before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, and called the Civil War an “act of treason,” Axios reports.
Said Milley: “For those young soldiers that go on to a base of Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, whatever, named after a Confederate general, they can be reminded that that general fought for an institution of slavery.”
“As rising coronavirus cases pushed some states to reverse course and reimpose shutdown orders on businesses, 1.3 million workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week,” the New York Times reports.
“The number of new claims has been declining since early April, but the weekly total is still far above records from previous downturns.”
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the guidelines for reopening schools will not be revised, CNN reports.
Said Redfield: “Our guidelines are our guidelines, but we are going to provide additional reference documents to aid basically communities that are trying to open K-through-12s. It’s not a revision of the guidelines; it’s just to provide additional information to help schools be able to use the guidance we put forward.”
“The city of Tulsa is experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, a little over 2 weeks after President Trump held a campaign rally in an indoor arena there,” CNN reports.
“Dr. Bruce Dart, Executive Director of the Tulsa Health Department, said in a press conference on Wednesday there are high numbers being reported this week, with nearly 500 new cases in two days and trends are showing that those numbers will increase.”
“The Justice Department supports longtime Trump friend Roger Stone going to prison on Tuesday, according to a new court filing,” CNN reports.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney and fixer, has been taken back into federal custody, according to Reuters. Cohen was spotted dining out last week when he was supposed to be in home detention.
“Five days after Georgia’s stay-at-home order expired, setting gyms, restaurants, hair and nail salons and other businesses on a quick course to reopen, a lobbyist for the state’s chamber of commerce emailed top aides to Brian Kemp, the Republican governor,” the Washington Post reports.
“The email correspondence, released through a public records request, shows how business networks and industry organizations helped write the rules of the pandemic response in some of the places that were the last to impose restrictions and the first to ease them. It also sheds light on the thinking of governors who have pledged not to reverse course on reopening, even as coronavirus cases spike in their states.”
“Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was expected to say in closed-door testimony today that Attorney General Bill Barr repeatedly urged him to take another job, warned him that getting fired would not be good for his resume or job prospects and steered him toward a high-level Justice Department post in DC,” Axios reports.
“Federal health officials are already trying to decide who will get the first doses of any effective coronavirus vaccines, which could be on the market this winter but could require many additional months to become widely available to Americans,” the New York Times reports.
“The first planned federal execution in 17 years is that of a convicted killer whose victims’ relatives have told President Trump that putting him to death would only compound their grief and have asked a federal judge to halt it,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The Trump administration’s yearslong push to reactivate the federal death chamber in Terre Haute, Ind., has come with other costs, too: litigation over the legality of the lethal-injection protocol Attorney General William Barr selected, as well as coronavirus-related health risks to witnesses and prison staff that have led several states to postpone their own executions.”