Trump and the Trump Organization filed suit Monday to stop the House Oversight Committee from obtaining financial records from Mazars, an accounting firm that Trump used to prepare financial statements.
According to a number of reports by respected national news sources, the committee subpoenaed for 10 years’ worth of Trump’s financial records after the firm requested a so-called “friendly subpoena.”
The lawsuit is the first case where Trump has sued to try to trip-up House Democrats’ investigations into the President. But the court filing is only the first skirmish in what’s likely to be a multi-front war between House Democrats and Trump, the White House and the President’s businesses.
“The President has a long history of trying to use baseless lawsuits to attack his adversaries, but there is simply no valid legal basis to interfere with this duly authorized subpoena from Congress,” Cummings said in an interview with the Cable News Network. “The White House is engaged in unprecedented stonewalling on all fronts, and they have refused to produce a single document or witness to the Oversight Committee during this entire year.”
A separate panel, the House Judiciary Committee, has issued a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report and underlying evidence, and chairman Jerry Nadler of New York has said he will go to court to obtain those records.
Following the release of the partially-redacted Mueller report, Democrats have turned up the heat on their investigations into the President’s finances.In addition to the House Oversight Committee subpoena to Mazars, the House Intelligence and Financial Services panels have subpoenaed nine financial institutions as part of an investigation into Trump’s finances.
The President’s personal lawyers have reacted by sending letters to companies and the Treasury Department to argue they should not be handing over the information.
Showdowns for information between the legislative and executive branches rarely go to court, but Democrats have said they may go that route due to administration stonewalling, which could create a new normal in the era of congressional subpoena fights.
In Monday’s court filing, Trump’s lawyers accused House Democrats of being “singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically.