President Donald Trump. File photo
The US Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear cases next year involving the release of President Donald Trump's tax returns and financial records, setting the stage for a potential blockbuster ruling during the presidential election campaign.
Trump has been seeking to block access to his tax returns and other records in cases brought by New York prosecutors and Democratic-controlled committees in the House of Representatives.
Lower courts have ruled that Trump must turn over the documents, but lawyers for the president appealed to the nation's highest court, arguing that as chief executive, he has blanket immunity.
"We are pleased that the Supreme Court granted review of the president's three pending cases," Jay Sekulow, Trump's personal attorney, said in a statement. "These cases raise significant constitutional issues.
"We look forward to presenting our written and oral arguments."
The Supreme Court -- where conservative judges are in the majority -- said it will hear arguments in March with a decision to be issued before the court session ends June 30.
Two of the five conservative justices on the nine-member court -- Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -- were appointed by Trump, who made a fortune in real estate before running for president in 2016.
A Supreme Court ruling in the case would come less than six months before Americans go to the polls in November.
Trump is the first US president since Richard Nixon not to make his tax returns public, claiming they are under audit by the Internal Revenue Service.
Democrats in the House of Representatives have turned to the courts to force the release of his tax returns and other records in cases that are considered a crucial test of the separation of powers.
In those cases, the committees have issued subpoenas for records from Deutsche Bank and the president's accounting firm, Mazars USA.
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