Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch listens as President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House on April 10, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Asking Supreme Court to Shield His Tax Returns, Trump Claims He Is 'Absolutely Immune' From Criminal Investigation

"It's absolutely shocking the lengths Donald Trump will go to to shield himself from accountability."

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump late Thursday asked the right-wing Supreme Court to block the Manhattan district attorney's subpoena for his tax returns, arguing that he is "absolutely immune from all stages of state criminal process while in office."

"That President Trump is going to the Supreme Court to try to avoid scrutiny of his finances does not exactly inspire confidence in what will be found in his tax returns." 
—Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Trump's 179-page petition (pdf) to the Supreme Court represents the final stage in the president's effort to stop Manhattan prosecutors from obtaining eight years of his personal and business tax records. Mazars USA, Trump's accounting firm, has said it will hand over the state documents if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case.

Ryan Thomas, spokesperson for progressive advocacy group Stand Up America, said in a statement that the president's "appeal to block the release of his tax returns is nothing more than a last-ditch effort to stymie a criminal investigation that's breathing down his neck."

"No one is above the law, including Donald Trump," said Thomas. "It's absolutely shocking the lengths Donald Trump will go to to shield himself from accountability. If Trump has nothing to hide, then he should immediately release his tax returns and give the American people the transparency they deserve."

In October, as Common Dreams reported, Judge Victor Marrero of the Federal District Court in Manhattan rejected Trump's claim of absolute immunity from criminal investigations, calling it "repugnant."

"This court cannot endorse such a categorical and limitless assertion of presidential immunity from judicial process as being countenanced by the nation's constitutional plan," wrote Marrero. "The expansive notion of constitutional immunity invoked here to shield the president from judicial process would constitute an overreach of executive power."

Trump's petition to the Supreme Court—which the president has driven further to the right by appointing Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh—came just a day after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit declined to review an earlier appeals court ruling that rejected Trump's effort to block a House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoena for eight years of his federal tax returns.

Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys, quickly signaled Trump would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

"That President Trump is going to the Supreme Court to try to avoid scrutiny of his finances does not exactly inspire confidence in what will be found in his tax returns," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington tweeted Thursday.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Sinema Targeted Over 'Morally Unforgivable' Tax Loophole for the Rich

"It's time for her to decide who she works for: Arizonans, or private equity billionaires."

Jake Johnson ·


Sanders Applauds Buffalo Starbucks Workers for Union Drive to 'Fight for What's Right'

The senator spoke with employees about their demands for a fair pay structure and the union-busting efforts they've witnessed from the international coffee chain.

Julia Conley ·


'Incredibly Important' Victory for Nation's Honey Bees by California High Court

"With this ruling, the bees in California are getting much-needed relief just as we're seeing some of the worst signs of colony collapse."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Tell Your Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles': Senior Citizens Launch New Climate Action Effort

"Older Americans will not win these fights alone; we want to back up younger leaders," said Bill McKibben, founder of a new group for organizers over 60. "But these fights won't be won without us either."

Kenny Stancil ·


Richest 1% Took 38% of New Global Wealth Since 1995. The Bottom Half Got Just 2%

A new report finds that global inequities in wealth and income are "about as great today as they were at the peak of Western imperialism in the early 20th century."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo