On April 15, the House Oversight Committee sent a subpoena to the accounting firm Mazars, demanding 10 years worth of financial information on Donald Trump, possibly including Trump’s tax returns as CNN reported, but Trump immediately filed a lawsuit to block the subpoena and keep his financial data private. On Tuesday, a federal judge heard Trump’s lawyers tell him that he must block the subpoena because Congress has no authority to investigate Trump — for anything.
The lawyers told Ahmit Mehta, a judge on the United States District Court for Washington, D.C., that in their view, Congress may obtain financial data — or any data — on Trump only for the purposes of crafting legislation, not for what Trump’s personal attorney William Consovoy called “law enforcement,” according to a USA Today account of the hearing.
But Mehta appeared skeptical of the Trump lawyer’s position, at one point asking Consovoy if, in his view, Congress had any authority at all to investigate possible corruption by a U.S. president. But the lawyer told an “incredulous” Mehta that investigating corruption would not be “the proper subject of investigation as to the president,” as quoted by USA Today.
Under further questioning from Mehta, the attorney for Trump “suggested that both the Whitewater and Watergate investigations were invalid,” according to USA Today reporter Brad Heath, reporting via Twitter — referring to the corruption investigations that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Mehta also questioned why Trump’s lawyers were opposing the congressional subpoena at all, a move that he said appeared to be effectively unprecedented, according to a CNN report, saying “there isn’t a single Supreme Court case or appellate case since 1880 that has found a congressional subpoena overstepped its bounds.”
Mehta, who was named to the federal bench by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2014, told the Trump lawyers that he assumed there must be “outer limits” to what Congress can obtain via subpoena, “but it’s not clear to me what they are.”
Though Trump has attempted to closely guard his personal financial information, and his income tax returns specifically, a New York Times investigation published last week revealed a possible reason why Trump continues to be fiercely protective of his financial data.
According to data obtained and analyzed by the Times reporters, Trump showed massive business losses of about $1.2 billion between 1985 and 1994 alone, making him the single biggest money-loser in America, according to Internal Revenue Service statistics, as The Inquisitr reported.