A federal judge in Washington, DC ruled on Wednesday that House Democrats were entitled to some of former President Donald Trump’s financial records, although fewer deposits than they requested before the 45th President leaves the White House.
decision by U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta was the latest turning point in a case that has already seen the Supreme Court intervene once – and the High Court may do so again.
Democratic members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee initially subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, in April 2019 for cases dating back to 2011. The then president challenged the subpoena and lost twice before the Supreme Court ruled in July 2020 that lower courts had failed to take into account “particular concerns about the separation of powers”.
Applying a new analysis established by the Supreme Court, Mehta ruled that the committee had the right to obtain information about Trump’s rental agreement with the Federal General Service Administration for his hotel in Washington, DC. The judge also ordered Mazars to turn over the tax and financial records of Trump and the Trump Organization for 2017 and 2018 to lawmakers.
However, Mehta also ruled that the committee was not entitled to other files, saying lawmakers had identified only “limited need” for them.
“The more Congress can invade the personal sphere of a former president, the greater the influence Congress would have over a sitting president,” Mehta wrote. “And the greater the leverage, the greater the inappropriate ‘institutional advantage’ Congress would have over a co-equal branch of government. “
The committee reissued Mazars’ summons in February this year after the previous one expired when the new Congress was sworn in in January.
Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement that the ruling “recognizes the oversight committee is entitled to a wide range of President Trump’s financial records as part of our critical investigation to prevent presidential conflicts of interest, personal transactions and constitutional violations.
Maloney added that while it was “disappointing that the Court, although it concluded that the entire subpoena served valid legislative purposes, reduced the subpoena in some respects, the committee is actively considering the next. steps “.
Separately, the Justice Department’s legal counsel’s office said in a notice last month that the Treasury Department must provide the House Ways and Means Committee with Trump’s tax returns. The notice stated that the chairman of the committee “has given sufficient reasons to request the tax information from the former chairman” and that under federal law, “the Treasury must provide the information to the committee.”
The committee’s search for documents overlaps with other documents that have already been disclosed to investigators. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. in his request for Trump’s tax records, although the ruling kept the documents out of public view. Vance’s office took possession of these files in February.
With post wires