TRUMP SUES DEMOCRATS
President Trump and his businesses sued the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday.
President Donald Trump and his businesses, seeking to brush back congressional investigators, sued the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday to try to quash a congressional subpoena for their financial records.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court here, argued that the committee’s chairman, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., had no legitimate legislative reason to subpoena an accounting company tied to the president, so his subpoena should be deemed invalid and unenforceable.
“The Democratic Party, with its newfound control of the U.S. House of Representatives, has declared all-out political war against President Donald J. Trump,” lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote in their complaint. “Subpoenas are their weapon of choice.”
The lawyers are also seeking a court order blocking the accounting company, Mazars USA, from handing over the information, which it says would “expose plaintiffs’ confidential information.”
The suit, which is almost certain to face a stiff challenge in court, is a familiar move for Trump, honed over a long and litigious business career. It mirrors other efforts in recent weeks by personal lawyers for the president and his businesses to block the Democraticcontrolled House from gaining access to Trump’s finances. If nothing else, the suit and possible countersuits could delay the release of the documents sought by Democrats.
“With this subpoena, the Oversight Committee is instead assuming the powers of the Department of Justice, investigating (dubious and partisan) allegations of illegal conduct by private individuals outside of government,” the lawyers wrote. “Its goal is to expose plaintiffs’ private financial information for the sake of exposure, with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election.”
Trump and his businesses were not party to the Democratic subpoena, which was sent to Mazars earlier this month seeking financial records and communications related to Trump and his businesses after Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer, told the Oversight Committee that his former boss had intentionally misrepresented his assets and liabilities to suit his needs. Inflating the value of assets would help the Trump Organization secure loans. Deflating the value of assets would minimize tax liability.
“The committee has full authority to investigate whether the president may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office, to determine whether he has undisclosed conflicts of interest thatmay impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions, to assess whether he is complying with the emoluments clauses of the Constitution, and to review whether he has accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other federal entities,” Cummings wrote in a memo to members of his committee at the time.
President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Monday during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Trump and his businesses filed a lawsuit Monday to block a House inquiry into his finances.