Washington — The Supreme Court has asked the lawyers in a pair of cases involving congressional subpoenas for President Trump's financial records to submit additional legal briefs on whether the cases raise a political question that should not be adjudicated by the courts.
In a brief order issued Monday, the court called for the parties involved to submit filings "addressing whether the political question doctrine or related justiciability principles bear on the Court's adjudication of these cases."
The political question doctrine says that federal courts will not hear cases that raise political questions.
The request from the high court comes just two weeks before the justices are set to hear arguments via telephone conference in three cases involving subpoenas issued to third parties for Mr. Trump's financial records.
The first two cases, which have been consolidated, involve subpoenas from three congressional committees to Mazars USA, the president's longtime accounting firm, and Deutsche Bank. The third case centers around a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to Mazars, though the Supreme Court has not requested additional legal briefs in this case.
In all three disputes, the president has sought to shield his financial records, including his tax returns, from investigators. Mr. Trump's attorneys argue that as president, he has "absolute immunity" from criminal investigations while in office and say the congressional probes lack a legitimate legislative purpose.
But the president has not been successful in the lower courts. In October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against Mr. Trump in his attempt to block a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee to Mazars, and in November, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the president's tax returns can be turned over to state criminal investigators. In December, the 2nd Circuit ruled Deutsche Bank can turn over more than 10 years of Mr. Trump's business records to the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees.