Among the many overtly partisan attacks launched against former President Donald Trump over the past several years was one in which House Democrats fought incessantly to obtain highly confidential financial records and tax returns for both Trump and his namesake Organization.
That fight now appears to be over as reports indicate that a settlement has been reached between Trump and his Democratic opponents in which at least some of the documents they sought will be turned over by the former president’s accounting firm, the Conservative Brief reported.
The settlement also reportedly puts an end to the ongoing litigation in that matter, as Trump’s attorneys will end their efforts to appeal lower court decisions that favored the House Democrats’ demands.
Democrats declare themselves victorious in a fight over Trump records
It is unclear who, exactly, is the “winner” in all of this, but that didn’t stop House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) from declaring victory in a statement issued Thursday about the settlement that was reached.
“After numerous court victories, I am pleased that my Committee has now reached an agreement to obtain key financial documents that former President Trump fought for years to hide from Congress,” Maloney said. “In April 2019, the Oversight Committee issued a lawful subpoena for financial records as part of our investigation into President Trump’s unprecedented conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and foreign financial ties.”
“After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents,” she added. “These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”
That press release went on to reiterate the unproven allegations against Trump, provided a timeline of the litigation to this point, and concluded, “Under the agreement reached by the Committee, former President Trump has agreed not to further appeal the D.C. Circuit’s ruling, and Mazars USA has agreed to comply with the court’s order and produce responsive documents to the Committee as expeditiously as possible.”
Terms of the deal remain unknown, undermining claims of victory
Based solely on that account of the settlement by the obviously biased and self-interested committee Democrats, it would seem like they were indeed the undisputed victors in this particular battle.
That said, prior experience and observations strongly suggest that what was shared by the House Oversight Committee was not, in fact, the whole story.
To wit, CBS News reported that in a Wednesday court filing, “Lawyers for the former president informed the federal appeals court in Washington of the deal, which they said was reached Tuesday, but did not provide additional information on its terms.”
The report noted that a three-judge appeals court panel had upheld but substantially narrowed the scope of the aforementioned subpoenas issued by House Democrats in a ruling last month that had initially prompted an appeal from Trump to the entire appeals court that has now been withdrawn.
Without knowing the full terms of the deal — specifically what, exactly, Trump’s team agreed to turn over — it is impossible to say with certainty who was victorious, but given the absurdly wide initial net cast by Democrats for documents and the likelihood that they did not receive all of what had been demanded, it is possible that both sides can declare some form of victory in this finally finished battle of wills.