Judge Rules Trump Cannot Block House Dem Subpoena of Financial Records

The ruling from Judge Amit Mehta (left) will represent a flashpoint in the myriad disputes between the White House and Congress. | Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images
Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

A federal judge in Washington ruled on Monday that President Donald Trump cannot block a House subpoena of his financial records.

The decision comes amid a widespread effort by the White House and the president’s lawyers to refuse to cooperate with congressional requests for information and records.

President Trump and his business organization had sued to block the subpoena issued in April to Mazars USA, an accountant for the president and Trump Organization.

Mehta, a U.S. District judge, was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama.

House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD) announcement that he intended to subpoena President Trump’s financial records came two days after the Treasury Department missed a deadline to deliver the president’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee chairman.

Cummings said his request was prompted by former-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony in February that Trump overstated his wealth before becoming president.

Cohen gave the committee copies of financial statements that he says Trump provided to Deutsche Bank during a 2014 attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills.

The documents showed President Trump’s net worth soared from $4.55 billion in 2012 to $8.66 billion in 2013 because of the addition of a line item for $4 billion worth of “brand value.”

The oversight committee sent a letter to Mazars on March 20 requesting information on how those financial statements and other disclosure documents were prepared.

Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) previously criticized the document request, calling it a waste of government resources. “We should not waste our limited resources and energies on matters that do not improve the operations of the federal government or better the lives of our constituents,” the pair of Republican lawmakers wrote in a recent letter to  Cummings, describing the inquiry “an ill-conceived inquiry into the finances of President Trump when he was a private citizen.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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