Vance called Thursday’s ruling “a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one – not even a president – is above the law.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a New York prosecutor has the right to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns as part of an ongoing criminal investigation that includes Trump’s payoffs to women who claim they had affairs with him.
The court’s 7-2 ruling will allow Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to subpoena the records from Trump’s private accounting firm, Mazars USA, who has said they will comply with a court order.
“Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the decision.
Trump, however, can block the release of his records to Congress, according to the Court’s ruling in another case.
Both cases will be sent back to the lower courts.
Vance is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsified business documents to conceal hush-money payments to two women, including adult film star Stormy Daniels, who allege they had sex with Trump before he took office. Trump has denied those claims and argued he has immunity from criminal investigations while in office.
In a statement, Vance called Thursday’s ruling “a tremendous victory for our nation’s system of justice and its founding principle that no one – not even a president – is above the law.”
Trump has spent the duration of his presidency fighting to keep his financial records secret, fueling speculation about what’s in them. His efforts to obscure his tax returns was a notable break from the norm, as presidents of both parties and presidential candidates have long made their financial documents public.
‘Trump, predictably did not respond well, going on a Twitter tirade in which he attacked former President Obama, his presumptive opponent in November, Joe Biden, the FBI, Robert Mueller, and the state of New York.
It will likely be at least several weeks before the court issues a formal judgment triggering the turnover of the records, meaning they may not see the light of day until after the election, if ever.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.