Donald Trump lost his appeal and now has to turn his financial documents over to Congress
It only took us three years but the President of the United States finally has to turn his taxes over to Congress. Donald Trump has been stonewalling House Democrats for years but on Friday, October 11, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Trump must hand over his last eight years of financial records.
Mazars USA, the firm that manages Trump’s business records, has just been issued a subpoena, though it’s expected that Trump will try to appeal the ruling. One of his lawyers, Jay Sekulow, told The New York Times that “we continue to believe that this subpoena is not a legitimate exercise of Congress’s legislative authority.” Trump will have seven days to appeal the decision and even if he does, it’s likely that the Supreme Court will decline to hear the case.
However, those on the side of justice were very happy with the news.
“Today’s ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for congressional oversight, our constitutional system of checks and balances and the rule of law,” Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the oversight committee, said in a statement. “For far too long, the president has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people.”
To which we say, damn straight.
Even though the House Oversight and Reform Committee is at the forefront of both the impeachment inquiry and this financial inquiry — the two are unrelated. That being said, Cummings added that the request for financial documents was both in part to help lawmakers decide whether to update financial disclosure laws but also to determine if the president had broken laws. For example, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump would often change the value of his assets depending on if he was applying for loans or trying to get a tax break.
As for Mazars USA, they have ever intent to cooperate with Congress and that’s a great thing.
“Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations,” they said in a statement to CNN. “We believe strongly in the ethical and professional rules and regulations that govern our industry, our work and our client interactions. As a matter of firm policy and professional rules we do not comment on the work we conduct for our clients.”
It seems crazy that this much effort is expended in trying to get the president to turn over his financial documents, considering the fact that every president since Nixon has voluntarily provided a public copy of their taxes and/or financial information without a struggle.
We’ll see how this plays out.