Business Maverick

Trump loses lawsuit challenging subpoena for financial records

By Al Jazeera 21 May 2019
Caption
epa07043116 US President Donald Trump (C) arrives with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) and US National Security Advisor John Bolton (L) during the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations at United Nations Headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 24 September 2018. The General Debate of the 73rd session begins on 25 September 2018. EPA-EFE/JUSTIN LANE

A US judge on Monday ruled in favour of a US House of Representatives committee seeking President Donald Trump 's financial records from his accounting firm, dealing an early setback to the Trump administration in its legal battle with Congress.

US District Judge Amit Mehta also denied a request by Trump to stay his decision pending an appeal. Last Tuesday Mehta heard oral arguments on whether Mazars LLP must comply with a House of Representatives Oversight Committee subpoena. Mehta said in Monday’s ruling that the committee “has shown that it is not engaged in a pure fishing expedition for the president’s financial records” and that the Mazars documents might assist Congress in passing laws and performing other core functions. It was the first time a federal court had waded into the tussle about how far Congress can go in probing Trump and his business affairs. Trump is refusing to cooperate with a series of investigations on issues ranging from his tax returns and policy decisions to his Washington hotel and his children’s security clearances. Trump’s lawyers argued that Congress is on a quest to “turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election.”
Mehta’s ruling will almost certainly be appealed to a higher court. The House Oversight Committee claims sweeping investigative power and says it needs Trump’s financial records to examine whether he has conflicts of interest or broke the law by not disentangling himself from his business holdings, as previous presidents did. Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization, his company, last month filed a lawsuit to block the committee’s subpoena, saying it exceeded Congress’s constitutional limits. Mehta was appointed in 2014 by Democratic former President Barack Obama, who was often investigated by Republicans in Congress during his two terms in office. Mazars has avoided taking sides in the dispute and said it will “comply with all legal obligations.”
Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

BUSINESS MAVERICK

UIF has R30bn available for Covid-19 income support to laid-off workers

By Ray Mahlaka