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SCOTUS: Trump Taxes And Oklahoma Tribal Lands




U.S. President Donald Trump on March 4, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump on March 4, 2018.
Olivier Douliery

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The Supreme Court issued a mixed verdict Thursday on demands for President Donald Trump's financial records that will keep his tax returns, banking and other documents out of the public eye for the time being. 

By 7-2 votes, the justices upheld the Manhattan district attorney's demand for Trump's tax returns, but kept a hold on Trump’s financial records that Congress has been seeking for more than a year.

The justices rejected arguments by Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department that the president is immune from investigation while he holds office or that a prosecutor must show a greater need than normal to obtain the records. The tax returns are being sought as part of a grand-jury investigation.

Because the grand jury process is confidential, the rulings make it likely that none of Trump’s financial records will become public soon.

Trump’s two high court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, joined the majority in both cases along with Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices. Roberts wrote both opinions.

In another ruling, the court ruled that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision that state and federal officials have warned could throw Oklahoma into chaos.

The court's 5-4 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa, the second-largest city.

The court’s ruling  casts doubt on hundreds of convictions won by local prosecutors. But Gorsuch suggested optimism. 

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

Kimberly Robinson, U.S. Supreme Court reporter for Bloomberg Law and co-host of Bloomberg Law’s podcast “Cases and Controversies”; she tweets @KimberlyRobinsn