Former President Donald Trump stands on the 18th green during the Pro-Am tournament before the LIV Golf series at Trump National Doral, Oct. 27, 2022.
Jasen Vinlove | USA Today Sports | Reuters
Former President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday at the Supreme Court — three of whose justices he appointed — for unanimously rejecting his request to block a congressional committee from obtaining his federal income tax returns.
Trump’s rant against the conservative-dominated court came a day after the 2024 Republican presidential hopeful learned of the court’s move, and saw ominous signs at three other courts where he faces troublesome cases.
Those other cases include two criminal investigations of Trump and a civil lawsuit that threatens his New York City-based company. That firm, the Trump Organization, separately is on criminal trial in Manhattan for an alleged tax-avoidance scheme. Trump has denied any wrongdoing in all of the cases.
“Why would anybody be surprised that the Supreme Court has ruled against me, they always do!” Trump wrote in a post on his Truth Social account. “The Supreme Court has lost its honor, prestige, and standing, & has become nothing more than a political body, with our Country paying the price.”
“Shame on them!” he wrote.
Trump also noted that the Supreme Court previously had refused to take cases that sought to reverse his 2020 presidential election loss to President Joe Biden. Trump’s campaign failed to prove election fraud claims in dozens of lawsuits around the country.
Those and the latest refusals by the court are a sore point for Trump, as he appointed the Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. They joined three other conservatives on the nine-justice bench.
The court on Tuesday rejected Trump’s bid to temporarily block the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his tax returns from the IRS as part of a probe of how the tax agency audits the returns of sitting presidents. There were no noted dissents in the court’s order.
The Democratic-controlled committee’s victory, after three years of legal battles, comes weeks before the GOP is set to take majority control of the House in January.
That leaves open the question of what, if any, work the panel will do with the returns before then, and whether any public report or action will be taken before Republican lawmakers take control of the committee.
Even if nothing comes of the probe, Trump faces a head-spinning array of legal problems that are set to continue plaguing him as he seeks the presidency in 2024.
At a hearing Tuesday, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit appeared strongly inclined to rule in favor of the Department of Justice’s request to overturn a Trump-appointed federal judge’s decision to appoint a watchdog to review documents seized from his Florida residence before prosecutors would be allowed to use them for a probe.
The DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation of Trump over his removal of records from the White House, a number of which were classified. The FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, in August to seize those documents.
“Other than the fact that this involves a former president, everything else about this is indistinguishable from any pre-indictment search warrant,” said appeals court Judge Bill Pryor during Tuesday’s oral arguments in Atlanta.
“And we’ve got to be concerned about the precedent that we would create that would allow any target of a federal criminal investigation to go into a district court and to have a district court entertain this kind of petition, exercise equitable jurisdiction and interfere with the executive branch’s ongoing investigation,” he said.
In another Atlanta courthouse on Tuesday, a Georgia state grand jury heard testimony in private from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican. That grand jury is collecting evidence for a criminal investigation into whether Trump and his allies interfered in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, which Biden won.
The Supreme Court on Nov. 1 rejected Graham’s request to block a subpoena for his testimony, which was expected to focus on contacts he had with state election officials as Trump tried to reverse his loss there.
Trump’s lawyers also appeared Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Judge Arthur Engoron set a trial date for October in a civil lawsuit in which New York Attorney General Letitia James accuses the ex-president, three of his adult children, and the Trump Organization of widespread fraud involving years’ worth of false financial statements about company assets.
Engoron and Trump’s lawyer, Alina Habba, reportedly snapped at each other during that hearing over a number of issues, including what the judge has suggested was her rehashing already-failed arguments in a motion to toss out the case.
“It seems to me the facts are the same. The law is the same. The parties are the same. I don’t know why I and my staff not to mention the attorney general staff need to go through this all again,” Engoron said, according to CNN. “It’s like jumping through the same hoops.”
Trump has a pattern in decades of litigation of dragging out legal proceedings.
Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for the New York attorney general’s office, reportedly told Engoron on Tuesday, “This is all just their game of delay, delay, delay.”
“They’re trying to push this into 2024,” he said.