Lawfare rages on
A federal judge upheld a subpoena issued by Congressional Democrats demanding access to Trump’s personal financial information. Arguing the subpoena was political warfare (and it is), Trump’s lawyers filed suit, hoping to block the subpoena.
More from Politico:
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling means that Mazars USA must comply with the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoena for eight years of Trump’s financial records, though the president is certain to appeal the ruling.
The president filed suit last month to block the subpoena, arguing that it amounted to an abuse of congressional authority.
Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) issued the subpoena to Mazars last month as part of the panel’s investigation into whether Trump committed financial crimes before he became president.
In particular, the committee has sought to corroborate specific claims made by Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen. Earlier this year, Cohen turned over documents to the panel which purport to show that Trump artificially inflated and deflated the values of his assets to suit his personal financial benefit.
And from CNBC:
Mehta wrote in a 41-page memorandum opinion that while “there are limits on Congress’s investigative authority … those limits do not substantially constrain Congress.”
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed accounting firm Mazars in April, requesting financial documents and related materials from Trump, his trust and a handful of his businesses. Trump’s lawyers sued in Washington, D.C., federal court to block that subpoena, writing that Democrats had “declared all-out political war” against Trump.
While Trump’s lawyers had argued that the committee’s subpoena did not have a legitimate legislative purpose — and was therefore invalid — Mehta took a more liberal view.
“So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which ‘legislation could be had,’” then Congress is acting within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution, the judge wrote. “President Trump cannot block the subpoena to Mazars.”
The Democrat-led committee argued that the requested financial documents will help it strengthen ethics and disclosure laws and their penalties, as well as assisting in making sure that the president does not violate the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
“These are facially valid legislative purposes, and it is not for the court to question whether the Committee’s actions are truly motivated by political considerations,” Mehta wrote.
All speculation suggests Trump will appeal the ruling.
We can play, “imagine if Congressional Republicans played the same game with all of Obama’s sealed records,” but we live by two completely different sets of rules here.
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