Tag Archives: Subpoena

Average Joe SCOTUS: Trump v. Mazars

So we all know, the DNC controlled House of Representatives not only hates Trump and are working hard day and night to remove him from office legislatively, if not at the ballot box. As a libertarian who dislikes Trump immensely, even I am put off by the amount of effort going into this by Democrats who are playing politics at the level of full-blown hatred, instead of just accepting that this is our current situation with Trump, and they should only make efforts to win in 2020.

Well, here’s another instance of them abusing their authority. Despite having no credible evidence of a crime, Congress has demanded Trump’s personal financial records, in hopes to uncover some wrongdoing. They’ve presented it as they need this info to consider how to draft new law.

Meaning they’re acting as though they aren’t looking to convict him of anything, they just want to be able to write good law, and his financial records will somehow help them. Is there anyone who believes this bullshit one iota? I hope not. Congress wouldn’t even elaborate on what law they’re looking to write.

So despite congress’ assertion, let’s assume they’re lying political hacks, because they have a good record of being exactly this. Let’s also assume that they’re using this in hopes to find an impeachable offense in the records, because they also have a record of this.

Here’s a couple of issues with this.

First: If the professionals at the IRS who most assuredly audited him didn’t find anything worthy of indicting him on, it is unlikely congress will either.

Second: Any write-offs he took advantage of, that the assholes in congress passed in the first place, will be used to argue Trump is just a greedy rich asshole, instead of that they passed a shitty law, favoring some of their favorite assholes, which Trump was able to exploit too.

Third: And this is most important, in a free country, my personal financial records should be none of anyone’s fucking business ever. EVER!!! The fact we have an income tax which penalizes people for success, instead of a consumption tax which merely takes a fair cut of commerce, is disgusting.

Fourth: We don’t subpoena records to see if there is a crime in them potentially, which is what congress is doing. We have evidence of a crime occurring, and then subpoena records that would confirm or exonerate someone of that crime, based on the evidence suggesting that the crime which occurred has evidence in those records.

Anyway, enough of my own personal opinions, let’s talk about this case.

Trump sued his accounting firm to prevent them from complying with his subpoena. That’s why it’s argued as him against them as opposed to Trump against the government.

Trump is claiming that this is an undue burden on him. But the respondent is arguing that Trump literally doesn’t have to do anything. The subpoena is for his accountant, and doesn’t require any work at all.

However, in this testy exchange, Justice Alito clearly saw through this shenanigan of an argument.

Stephen G. Breyer

Yes, you emphasized it goes to a private person and it’s for tax returns.

But the subpoenas that I’ve seen go far beyond that.

They apply to 15 Trump-affiliated entities.

They ask for all documents related to opening of accounts, due diligence, closing, requests for information by other parties, et cetera. Now that’s a lot of information, and some of it’s pretty vague.

And if somebody subpoenaed you for that information or subpoenaed your tax accountant or subpoenaed somebody in your business, wouldn’t you at least want to know what was being turned over? Wouldn’t you want to ask them? And might that not take time? And might that not take effort? So my problem is there may be burdens here, third-party or not, and not just political burdens.

The job of the House and Senate, in part, as the President, is politics.

That doesn’t bother me. But the Clinton v. Jones information does bother me.

And the fact that what I hold today will also apply to a future Senator McCarthy asking a future Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman exactly the same questions, that bothers me. So what do I do?

Douglas N. Letter

Justice Breyer, I fully understand that concern.

None of the subpoena recipients have complained about burden.

The reason these subpoenas go back a ways is because, as you know —

Stephen G. Breyer

I’m sorry to interrupt you.

I’m not talking about their burden.

I’m talking about the President’s burden in having to monitor, decide if there are privileges, figure out what his answers are to all those documents you are requesting which go, in my opinion, way, way, way beyond just tax returns.

SCOTUS is now charged with determining if Trump must comply with these unreasonable and clearly dishonest requests from congress.

SCOTUS opined that they understand this shit had deep political implications, and potentially opens the door for congresses of the future to go after any sitting president they dislike.

The president argued that congress should demonstrate a specific need, and SCOTUS said, “Nah, dawg.”

But the House argued that that they only needed to have a valid legislative purpose, and SCOTUS said, “Nah, dawg” to that, too, fearing it opens the door for a malicious congress to harass a president.

SCOTUS instead, decided to write their own rules for this.

  1. The courts have to prove only the president’s records will help, and not some other asshole’s
  2. Courts can’t make this shit any broader than is needed for what they’re doing
  3. Courts should review it, to make sure it’s legit, kinda like a warrant
  4. The courts should determine if the president is being harassed, or the subpoena is legit.

Thomas said Congress should simply not have the right to ask for private and unofficial documents from anyone, in his dissent. Alito felt like the House hadn’t met the burden of the test laid out by SCOTUS above. The rest sided with Mazars.

 

Average Joe SCOTUS: Trump v. Vance

Related to the Trump v. Mazars case, where the House of Representatives are trying to subpoena Trump’s financial records, here is a case where some douchebag New York county prosecutor is trying to go after Trump, and issued a subpoena for his tax records from Mazars as well.

Trump is again suing to quash the subpoena, the issue at play being whether he has executive privilege of such information, and therefore a right to not comply.

Whereas the house was arguing these records were requested to help draft legislation, this county prosecutor is more honest, claiming that they have reports of illegal activity by the Trump organization in New York County over the last ten years, and these subpoena’s are to aid in that investigation.

Again, it seems we have a situation where there’s no evidence of a crime, but the government just believes he’s a bad guy, and are hoping to find evidence of something they can prosecute. This is not me being a political hack. If Trump did commit a crime, I want his ass to pay for it. But no party can or has reported an actual crime that occurred that they are investigating.

I think Trump’s petitioner summed it up quite nicely.

Jay Alan Sekulow

Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice. Let me start with this, and there’s some agreement.

The New York district attorney, New York County district attorney, acknowledges that their subpoena implicates Article II issues and burdens.

They also agree that there is harms that could arise to the presidency.

We say those harms have actually existed. The other aspect of this is the ordering, who carries the burden here.

That seems to be the issue that’s left open.

This Court’s decision in Cheney answered that very clearly, that said that the exacting standard is carried by the party requesting the information. So it would be carried by the Respondent in this particular case. There has been no showing and no findings of heightened need standards being met here.

That — and I think it’s again also important to remember — and I think this came up in the context of earlier questioning — there’s a different stigma that attaches to criminal process than civil litigation.

And I don’t think that stigma should be ignored in a case like this. But the irony of all of this is that the House of Representatives and the district attorney issued essentially the same subpoenas to the same custodian for the same records. The House said it wants the records so it can legislate, not for law enforcement reasons.

The district attorney says he wants the same records for law enforcement reasons; he has no legislative authority. But what’s really happening here could not be clearer.

The presidency is being harassed and undermined with improper process that was issued, in our view, for illegitimate reasons.

The copying of the subpoena speaks to that. The framers saw this coming, and they structured the Constitution to protect the President from this encroachment. Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice.

In a 7:2 decision where Alito and Thomas dissented, agreeing that a president is not above the law, but Thomas saying that in situations such as this, they felt a sitting president should potentially receive relief from an overzealous prosecutor, and Alito believed that the prosecutor should have a higher burden to go after a sitting president.  SCOTUS determined that there’s nothing in the Constitution what increases the burden on a county prosecutor when pursuing criminal action against a president.

They also decided that there is nothing unreasonable to ask a president to provide evidence in the pursuance of a criminal investigation.

It’s also worth noting that the two dissenters were NOT Trump’s two appointees, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. So if there was a concern of them being biased towards the person who appointed them, I guess you can through that shit in the trash.