Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens accused President Donald Trump of exceeding his presidential powers in an interview published Thursday, telling The Wall Street Journal that the President “has to comply with subpoenas.”
Stevens’ remarks come as the court battle over Trump’s financial records ramps up, with Judge Amit Mehta overseeing the first hearing in the standoff between the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee and the President next week. The committee has subpoenaed Trump’s long-standing accounting firm Mazars USA for several years’ worth of the President’s financial statements, and the President has sued the committee and Mazars to block the firm from complying.
Asked about the modern political landscape, Stevens told the Journal, “I think there are things we should be concerned about, there’s no doubt about that.”
“The President is exercising powers that do not really belong to him,” Stevens added. “I mean, he has to comply with subpoenas and things like that.”
As to how the Supreme Court would handle a case between Trump and the Democrat-led House of Representatives, Stevens told the paper, “I wouldn’t want to predict that anybody’s going to take the incorrect view. But certainly, the correct view is pretty clear.”
Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court from his appointment by President Gerald Ford in 1975 until his retirement in 2010, is a lifelong Republican whose rulings often leaned left. He wrote the dissenting opinion in Bush v. Gore in 2000 and the majority opinion in Rasul et al v. Bush in 2010 deciding that detainees at Guantanamo must have a court-martial.
Stevens has weighed in on current political events since his retirement, suggesting in October that then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should not sit on the court. Stevens’ op-ed in the New York Times last year encouraging gun control advocates to try to repeal the Second Amendment prompted Trump to respond on Twitter, “NO WAY.”