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Daily Skimm: Trump's Taxes, Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Hill, and "Hamilton" on the Small Screen

Tax forms
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May 13, 2020


The Story

The Supreme Court had a lot to say about President Trump's wallet.

It's a big wallet.

Well, it comes with big questions, like whether the president can block the release of his financial records. Yesterday, SCOTUS heard oral arguments over the phone on three Trump-related cases. This time, sans toilet flush.

You love to not hear it.

Of course. Anyway, the first argument covered two cases focused on subpoenas from House investigations, which were looking into alleged crimes like whether Trump lied on his financial records to reduce his taxes. The second involved subpoenas from the Manhattan DA, who's investigating alleged hush-money payments to women (remember Stormy Daniels?). Trump has denied wrongdoing in each case. And his defense team claimed that the House's subpoenas are illegitimate, adding that as long as Trump is in office, he should be immune from any criminal investigation.

What did the justices say?

Some of them (hint: the liberal justices) gave a history lesson to get their point across: if President Nixon and President Clinton were forced to cooperate in their investigations, why shouldn't Trump? Others (hint: the conservative justices) focused on whether allowing the subpoenas would lead to presidential harassment. Both sides seemed skeptical that a president can have absolute immunity.

So what's the final ruling?

There isn't one...yet. A decision is expected within weeks. But there are a few different ways the court could rule. Justices could require Trump to hand over some financial records or none at all. They could also hand the cases back over to the lower courts – in which case a decision isn't likely until after the November election.


The Supreme Court is weighing the powers of Congress against those of a sitting president. Whatever the court decides, this could have implications not just ahead of the November election, but for years to come.


Who provided a checkup…

Top US health officials. Yesterday, they testified remotely before the Senate on COVID-19. Dr. Anthony Fauci warned against reopening too quickly, saying that if states ignore federal guidelines, the US could see avoidable "suffering and death." He also said a vaccine likely won't be ready by the time schools reopen this fall. He and CDC Director Robert Redfield both said the US needs to ramp up contact tracing and testing. And though Redfield said the US is in better shape than it was, he channeled his inner Taylor Swift to point out that we're not "out of the woods yet."

  • Not everyone's on the same page: The hearing came one day after Trump said "we have prevailed" on testing for the virus. He's been a proponent of reopening the country ASAP, and has criticized Democrats for moving "too slowly" in doing so.

Skimm MoreHere's your explainer on what to expect as the US reopens.

Whose name people are saying...

Breonna Taylor's. Her family recently filed a lawsuit accusing Kentucky police of wrongfully killing the 26-year-old in her home back in March. According to the suit, police came into Taylor's home past midnight to execute a search warrant at the wrong place. In response, Taylor's boyfriend allegedly shot at police, believing it was a break-in. While Taylor's boyfriend was arrested, Taylor was shot eight times and died. The suit is the latest case stirring questions about police brutality toward black Americans – and comes in the wake of national outrage over the killing of Ahmaud Arbery by two white men.

Who else people are remembering…

Aimee Stephens. Yesterday, the woman at the center of SCOTUS's first transgender case died at age 59 of kidney disease. Stephens claimed her employer violated federal anti-discrimination law when he fired her after she said she'd begin living openly as a woman. The employer doesn't deny that's why he fired her but argues that anti-discrimination laws don't apply to transgender people. The court is still expected to rule on Stephens' case. Her wife remembered her, saying she has given "so many hope for the future of equality."

What high school seniors are thinking about…

College financial aid. Recent data reportedly shows fewer students are applying for federal help (like FAFSA) to pay for school. One nonprofit found at least 55,000 fewer high school seniors submitted aid applications last month compared to the same time last year – a nearly 3% drop. That apparently has schools worried many could be writing off college plans, assuming they won't be able to afford it even with aid given the pandemic's blow to the economy.

...Oh and speaking of college and money, student loans. This fall, interest rates are expected to hit a record low. But only for new loans taken out starting in July.

Psst...see what COVID-19 could mean for your student loans – and other money matters – here.

When you don't know when you'll be back to Broadway...

Hope you're satisfied with streaming.

Skimm More: Don't throw away your shot at staying up-to-date on new events. Our app syncs our cal with yours so you get a heads up when major events are going down. Download it now to start your free trial.

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