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Response to ScratchCat (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 6, 2021, 12:15 PM

15. Not necessarily.

Trump's argument has been, and is, that the purpose of the Congressional subpoena was "enforcement" of current ethics laws and rules. But the lower courts agreed with the committees that the subpoenas were intended to serve a legislative purpose. The Supreme Court agreed with the lower court, but only to a point. According to the Supreme Court, when a subpoena is relates to a President's records, even private records not subject to executive privilege, care must be taken to ensure that the subpoena is not overbroad.

Interestingly, the very fact that Trump is no longer president undercuts some of the Court's rationale -- concerns about the subpoena power being used by Congress to "harass" a sitting president aren't the same when the president is out of office. If anything, the court may conclude that, following the reasoning of the Supreme Court, the separation of powers concerns that required the remand have diminished to the point where the subpoena should be enforced as a means of Congress acquiring information that would allow it to consider future legislation governing presidential finances and ethics.

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