Judge Amit Mehta of the DC District Court ordered Donald Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA — which works for both the president and the Trump Organization — to hand over the president’s financial records to the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee, per CNN.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump previously tried to block to subpoena by suing Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Representative Elijah Cummings, who issued the subpoena to Mazars USA. He claims that Mazars USA requested the subpoena before it turned over the president’s financial records.
Politico reports that Mehta wrote a 41-page opinion describing her decision. In the opinion, she supports the right of Congress to investigate Trump and argues against Republican claims that the subpoena isn’t valid.
“It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.”
Mehta highlighted the fact that in the past, Congress investigated alleged illegal activity by presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and claims that to prevent the subpoena would be to “roll back the tide of history.”
“Thus, it is not the court’s role to decipher whether Congress’s true purpose in pursuing an investigation is to aid legislation or something more sinister such as exacting political retribution,” she added.
JUST IN: Judge rules in favor of House Democrats' efforts to obtain Donald Trump's financial records from former accounting firm. https://t.co/8tHr9A58lG— ABC News (@ABC) May 20, 2019
Trump’s lawsuit against Cummings said that the subpoena “has no legitimate legislative purpose.” It also claims that Democrats are using it to harass the president and reveal his financial records solely to harm his standing.
In addition, the lawsuit says that Cummings issued the subpoena without first consulting Republicans on the panel, and also attacked the alleged basis of the subpoena — the testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, which it called “a partisan stunt, not a good-faith effort to obtain accurate testimony from a reliable witness.”
Despite Trump’s efforts, Mazars USA must now provide eight years of his accounting records from before he was president.
Politico reports that Trump also attempted to prevent the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees’ subpoenas to Capital One and Deutsche Bank. As with the Mazars USA subpoena, these subpoenas ask for Trump’s personal and business financial records. The subpoenas were a part of a joint investigation — which Trump claims is an abuse of Democratic power — that seeks to determine whether foreign actors have compromised Trump.