running out the clock
May 24, 2019

Could President Trump's tax records end up dropping right at the height of the 2020 presidential election? That's looking increasingly possible.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Thursday decided to expedite its review into the president's request to block Congress' subpoena of his accounting firm for years of financial documents, as The Washington Post reports. The court called for oral arguments by July, and Democrats have agreed to suspend deadlines from the subpoena.

This new timeline, the Post writes, "could set up a decision from the Supreme Court that could land in the thick of the 2020 presidential campaign." After all, the report notes that experts expect the president's lawyers to immediately appeal to the Supreme Court should they lose in the D.C. Circuit.

This comes after several setbacks this week for Trump, as a New York judge previously refused to block subpoenas for Trump's financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Judge Amit Mehta with the District Court for the District of Columbia also upheld Democrats' subpoena for the financial records from his accounting firm, prompting Trump's lawyers to appeal. Democrats are also looking to have the IRS hand over years of Trump's tax returns, a fight that is expected to head to court after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rebuffed their subpoena.

With all of this in mind, Politico reports on Friday on the "decent chance the White House could lose the fight and be forced to hand over Trump's tax records before the election," as federal courts are "ruling quickly" on these other cases and the Supreme Court might not even take up the IRS case at all. If it doesn't, this might allow for a final decision from the lower courts in about a year — meaning in the end, as Politico writes, this could "leave the GOP wishing Trump had ripped off the tax-return Band-Aid sooner." Brendan Morrow

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