Jul 9, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 473 words, a 2-minute read.

  • ⚡️Situational awareness: The Big 10 conference is playing a conference-only schedule this fall ... if they play sports at all. Statement.
1 big thing: The Supreme rain check on Trump taxes

Bill Christeson holds up a sign that reads "Follow the Money" outside the Supreme Court. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

The Supreme Court handed President Trump a loss today on his tax returns, but also made it very unlikely that the public will see them before they vote in November.

The big picture: Trump wanted two things from the Supreme Court: blanket immunity that would shield him and any president from all investigations; and to keep his financial records secret, writes Axios' Sam Baker.

  • He lost badly on the law, but practically, it will be a long time — definitely not until after the election — before the public gets even a partial glimpse of his tax returns or other records.
  • "The president is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in a 7-2 opinion.

What's next: The court said Trump cannot block Manhattan prosecutor Cy Vance's subpoenas just because he's the president. That case will now go back to a lower court, where Trump's lawyers can try to fight those subpoenas as they would for a client who's not the president.

  • Trump's challenge to House committees' subpoenas will also go back to lower courts, for new arguments over the balance of power between Congress and the president.

The other side: White House advisers asserted to Axios' Alayna Treene that the rulings give Trump the next best thing — a pathway to fight the subpoenas in a lower court.

  • “The standards here are pliable enough and tough enough that the president can go in there and make lots of arguments … to thwart the subpoena of records,” a Trump adviser told Axios.
  • “I think the President ought to be satisfied with what he's got.”

The bottom line: If Trump was going to lose this is a decent way to do it — with no immediate exposure to Congress and a path to delay past the election through lower court challenges.

2. Pics du jour
Photos (clockwise from top left): Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images (3), David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grabbed a roller today to paint “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Trump tweeted last week that the street mural would be “a symbol of hate.”
3. Catch up quick
  1. Florida hit a new high on its coronavirus daily death toll at 120. Go deeper.
  2. The WHO acknowledged that airborne transmission of coronavirus is possible, especially in poorly ventilated buildings. Go deeper.
  3. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon was found dead hours after his daughter reported him missing, prompting a massive manhunt. Go deeper.
  4. Inside Geoffrey Berman's closed-door testimony: Axios' Jonathan Swan obtained a copy of the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan's opening statement for his closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. Go deeper.
  5. Michael Cohen is heading back to prison after refusing the conditions of his home confinement, according to two people familiar with the situation. Go deeper.
4. New Rolling Stones tracks

Ron Wood, from left, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

The Rolling Stones will release a new version of their 1973 album “Goats Head Soup” featuring three unheard tracks, AP reports.

  • One features Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page.

The release on Sept. 4 will include a four-disc CD and vinyl box set editions that includes 10 bonus tracks, including outtakes and alternative versions.

Mike Allen