What has the potential to be a lengthy battle between Congress and President Donald Trump over the subpoena of Trump’s financial records could now be on the fast track, CNN reports. As early as next week, Judge Amit Mehta is set to consider the primary legal issue raised by Trump’s challenge of the subpoena for records from the president’s accounting firm. The new, swifter timeframe was revealed in a court order released on Thursday and could indicate that the case is beginning to accelerate.
The case deals with a Congressional subpoena of records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, which has handled the president’s business and personal accounting. Trump’s legal team has sued to protect the records from being given to Congress.
The hearing is scheduled to take place on May 14.
Until now, the case was going to be considered in multiple stages, which would have likely drawn out the legal dispute and delayed the possible delivery of the records to Congress. Under the new timeline, things could move much more quickly.
The House Ways and Means Committee requested six years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns. Trump and his associates are challenging the request on a number of fronts. So far, Trump himself, his business entities, and his children Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric, have sued to block access to the records.
In addition, the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees have also opened investigations into the president’s finances and have delivered subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, Capitol One, and other major financial institutions.
NEW: House Democrats have issued subpoenas to force the Treasury secretary and IRS commissioner to release six years of President Trump's tax returns. https://t.co/mSJ17gd36m— NPR (@NPR) May 10, 2019
As the president remains on the defensive on a number of legal fronts, analysts have scrambled for insights into the backgrounds and temperaments of judges involved in the various cases and challenges. While there is a limited amount known about Mehta, CNN did recently reveal one unusual credential of the judge: hip-hop aficionado.
In a 2015 ruling on a copyright infringement claim including rapper Common’s song “Kingdom” and Robert Prunty’s song “Keys to the Kingdom,” Mehta confidently stated that he was “capable of concluding as a matter of law, without the assistance of expert testimony, that the songs ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ and ‘Kingdom’ are not substantially similar.”
In a footnote, Mehta continued.
“This court also does not consider itself an ordinary ‘lay person’ when it comes to hip-hop music and lyrics,” he added. “The court has listened to hip hop for decades and considers among his favorite musical artists, perhaps a sign of his age, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem.”