Judge rules Trump can't block subpoena of his financial records by Congress

Trump accounting firm ordered to give records to Congress

Judge rules Trump can't block subpoena of his financial records by Congress

"The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President can not be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement sent to reporters.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said Trump can not block a House subpoena of financial records.

The White House cited a legal opinion from the Justice Department, which argued that McGahn would have immunity from testifying before Congress about his work as a close Trump adviser.

Lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization, his company, last month filed a lawsuit to block the committee's subpoena, saying it exceeded Congress' constitutional limits. U.S. District Judge John Bates said it was an unprecedented notion that a White House official would be absolutely immune from being compelled to testify before Congress. Miers had to show up for her testimony, but still had the right to assert executive privilege in response to any specific questions posed by legislators, the judge said. Mehta's ruling will nearly certainly be appealed quickly to a higher court.

Nadler has been frustrated by the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller found the president and his campaign did not collude with Russian Federation during the 2016 election, and no indictments are coming.

It was the first time a federal court had waded into the tussle about how far Congress can go in probing Trump and his business affairs.

Trump is refusing to co-operate with a series of investigations into issues ranging from his tax returns and policy decisions to his Washington hotel and his children's security clearances.

Mazars has avoided taking sides in the dispute and said it will "comply with all legal obligations". A Wednesday hearing is planned in that case.

In the NY case, Trump, his business and family have sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent the financial companies from complying with subpoenas from the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee for banking and financial records. They believe Congress has broad power to issue subpoenas as long as requested documents can help it legislate, and that courts are reluctant to second-guess its motivations.

Trump's attorneys fire back that Democrats' true objective is not governance but political advantage, to expose the Trumps' "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".

Any such effort would likely fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, but it would provide Democrats with high-powered ammunition for political ads in 2020.

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