On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a district court ruling that President Donald Trump’s accounting firm must comply with a subpoena for documents issued by the Democrat-controlled House Oversight and Reform Committee. The decision is a major loss for the president.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was elated and cheered the ruling as a “validation” of her party’s efforts. Since before he was elected, Democrats have been obsessed with getting their hands on Trump’s tax returns and personal financial documents, an effort they have relentlessly pursued through multiple venues and which Trump has countered legally every step of the way.
D.C. Circuit Court rules against Trump on tax records case
The Hill reported on Friday that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of the House committee’s subpoena that demanded relevant financial documents be turned over by Mazars USA, an accounting firm that handles the Trump Organization’s finances, with the court ruling the subpoena was “valid and enforceable.”
Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump’s personal attorneys, said in a statement that the Trump legal team was “reviewing the opinion and evaluating all options including appeals.”
Speaker Pelosi, however, praised the court’s decision as “a victory for our democracy, as the courts reaffirm the Congress’s authority and responsibility to conduct oversight and consider legislation on behalf of the American people.”
“Validation of our efforts”
The Hill separately reported on Friday that Pelosi also sent a letter to members of her House caucus celebrating the D.C. Circuit Court ruling, which she said displayed “increased outside validation of our efforts to hold the President accountable.”
“This morning, we won a major victory in the D.C. Circuit in the Mazars case,” Pelosi wrote in the letter. “The Court rejected the Administration’s defiance of Congress’s oversight authority, writing in the majority opinion that ‘Contrary to the President’s arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars must comply.'”
The speaker also cited a quote from the collective of Watergate prosecutors and argued that Trump’s refusal to cooperate with Congressional demands should not be allowed to “delay or frustrate” the House’s performance of their constitutional duties.
“This week, we have seen increased outside validation of our efforts to hold the President accountable and these statements speak to the heart of the Constitutional challenge that we face,” Pelosi wrote.
Investigative or legislative purpose?
In all likelihood, Trump’s legal team will appeal this court ruling and take the fight over the committee’s subpoena of his financial records all the way to the Supreme Court.
At issue is the purpose of the committee’s subpoena for the documents — a transparent attempt to boost the Democrats’ efforts to find something, anything, that could be the basis for impeachment. However, Democrats have argued, and the liberal judges ludicrously agreed, that the subpoena for the personal and business financial records served a “legislative” purpose instead of an investigative one.
Unfortunately, this is but one of several current Democrat attempts to get Trump’s tax records, and though the president has so far successfully fended off the incessant grabs at his private financial information, there is no telling how the Supreme Court would rule on this or any of the other similar cases going forward.