The Supreme Court Rules on President Trump's Tax Records

Only three past presidents have been served with subpoenas.
By Jean Rutter
An image from RetroReport

This week the Supreme Court ruled that President Trump’s bankers and accountants must comply with a subpoena for financial records from Cyrus Vance Jr., the Manhattan District Attorney. The court rejected a subpoena by the House. Only three past presidents have been served with subpoenas.

An image from RetroReport
Former Vice President Aaron Burr.
1807: Thomas Jefferson was subpoenaed to testify in the treason trial of his former vice president, Aaron Burr. Jefferson refused to appear in court, but later produced some documents; his refusal was not challenged.
An image from RetroReport
Former President Richard Nixon
1974: Richard Nixon was served with a Congressional subpoena during the Watergate scandal for his secretly-recorded tapes of conversations with administration officials, staff and family members. Nixon refused to release the tapes, claiming executive privilege. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected that claim. Rather than face impeachment, Nixon resigned in a speech on Aug. 8, 1974.
An image from RetroReport
Former President Bill Clinton.

1998: Bill Clinton was served with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in an investigation into his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The subpoena was withdrawn when Clinton agreed to testify voluntarily.

President Trump’s lawyers had argued that as president, he was immune from criminal proceedings and investigations. “The presidency is being harassed and undermined,” Jay Sekulow, his personal lawyer, argued.

In a statement, the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr., a Democrat, said: “This is 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.”

Learn something new from history: Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter @RetroReport.