The supreme Court has ruled: the president is not immune from judicial proceedings, but we will not be seeing tax returns soon.
It is again safe to walk on the 5th Avenue in New York city! The lawyers of the president Trump had famously argued before the supreme Court that the latter could, in principle, shoot someone at point-blank range on the famous street in new york without being the subject of criminal prosecution. The supreme Court has clearly rejected this argument.
The highest court of the United States just made two rulings that reject clearly the claims of Donald Trump and his lawyers following which the president would have immunity, near-total against criminal prosecution or the requests of the Congress (see details here). In two separate judgments, seven of the nine judges (including two judges appointed by Trump) have agreed that the president could not escape a summons to produce documents relevant to a criminal prosecution on the basis of a vague notion of total immunity, which would, in fact, above the law.
In the first case, the prosecutor of the State of New York, Cyrus Vance Jr., sought to obtain the tax returns of Donald Trump, following several allegations of fraud. The Court has not directed the chairman to submit these documents on-the-field, but was reported to his lawyers that they were required to file a new plea.
In the second case, the House of representatives sought to obtain the tax returns of Trump in the context of a review of the electoral law related to the indictment of former counsel to the president, Michael Cohen, for electoral fraud – a case that personally involved the president.
Defeat legal, lifebuoy policy
In both cases, the verdict of the supreme Court inflicts on the president and his lawyers a defeat judicial scathing, but to Trump the politician is not too bad. Indeed, the Court noted only that the argument presented by the lawyers Trump the lower courts is void, and invites it to submit a new plea.
Legally, it is a great defeat, because, if such arguments exist, they would have already been presented by the counsel for Trump. Politically, the impact of the decision will be any different. Unless a major surprise, these verdicts to ensure that tax returns Trump will not be revealed before the election next November, which allows him to dodge the myriad of revelations embarrassing that could result.
Recall that Donald Trump had promised in 2016 to comply with the tradition, according to which presidents publicly disclose their tax returns, what all his predecessors have done since Nixon. It was then falsely alleged that he could not do it, because his statements were under audit, to finally decide that the public was not interested in her taxes and that the verdict of the electorate was enough to release him from this convention. It continues today to promise that he will release his tax returns before the day of the vote, but if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you cheap.
The strategy clock
In fact, the judgments allow Trump to defer the prosecution of which he is the target and continue to play at the virgin offended until the day of the election. In the language of sport, in the United States, such a strategy is called “running the clock” (to let the time pass on the clock to preserve a advantage in late game).
It is a strategy that has smiled at Donald Trump in the business. At the instigation of his legal mentor, Roy Cohn, Trump always looking for ways to stretch all the legal remedies at its disposal in order to exhaust his pursuers, and induce them to accept settlements. Such regulations were costly to Trump, as in the case of Trump University, but have always managed to avoid the stigma of an accusation in due form.
The dodge continues
Politically, therefore, these judgments will continue to dodge the in-depth review of his personal finances until the day of the election. Common sense tells us that, if he had nothing to hide, there would be no reason to hide his tax returns. However, whether it is the financial linkages of compromising with foreign powers, for his alleged involvement in the violation of the election law, which was sent to her former attorney, Michael Cohen in prison, or fraud to the short week (such as to inflate fraudulently the value of its assets to obtain a loan-or under-estimate fraudulently, the value of the same asset to reduce its tax burden), all the world – Trump the first – known that there is in these tax returns enough material to sink his campaign.
Only the fervent believers of the cult of the personality of Trump think the opposite. Trump himself probably believes that he can survive politically as long as the doubt hovers over the various misdeeds potential. He may be right, even if it will be difficult to overcome the 10 points behind, which he blames on Joe Biden, but the prosecution against him will one day end and the truth will surface.
Of course, it is possible that Trump is white as snow and that all the facts that it hides today end up one day exonerate him from all blame. Then, why he continues to hide everything?