In a blow to Donald Trump's attempts at blocking the House of Representatives from getting copies of his financial records, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Friday issued a ruling that denied the president's efforts to refuse the House's subpoena, as reported by Politico.
In the 2-1 ruling, posted to Politico, the appellate judges stated Trump had "no blanket immunity from Congressional subpoenas."
In their 66-page decision, Judge David Tatel, joined by Judge Patricia Millett, cited history going back to the founding of the U.S., writing that plenty of lawmakers have used subpoenas to gain information in investigations they were conducting. They stated that House committees have the authority to issue them.
This case stemmed from a suit the president brought against House Democrats to prevent them from accessing his financial records.
While the timing of the judgment may seem convenient, this case originated well before the House's current impeachment hearing against the president. Ever since Democrats took control of the House in January of this year, they have attempted to get access to Trump's financial records, specifically his records from the accounting firm Mazars USA, relating to work the firm did for the president prior to him taking office, as well as during his time in the White House.
The subpoena was issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in April of this year, requesting financial records to look for any conflicts of interest or foreign payments he might have made. Trump's lawyers immediately ignored the summons, taking the Democrats to court. Trump's lawyer argued that Congress was going against the president personally instead of doing their job legislating. However, a lower federal court judge ruled against Trump in May, stating that "it wasn't the district court's role to second-guess the committee's claims," per Politico.
Trump then appealed the ruling, although the judgement today did not see a different outcome for the commander in chief. He now has the option of appealing this most recent ruling to the entire D.C. Circuit's 11 judges or taking it up with the Supreme Court.This decision against the president comes as the impeachment hearing against him is heating up. On Wednesday, two Ukrainian associates of Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were arrested for violating campaign finance laws. They were caught trying to flee the country, as reported by The Inquisitr.
This federal financial records decision also comes at a time when the Manhattan district attorney is pushing for the release of the president's tax returns in an ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization and their role in silencing Stormy Daniels and another unnamed woman. A federal judge denied the attempt from Trump's lawyers to block the request for the tax returns, stating sitting presidents are not immune to the judicial process, writes The Inquisitr.
Although Trump's lawyers have yet to act on both decisions as of this writing, it is more than likely both cases will face further appeal.