Another attempt to block the investigation into Trump’s pre-election finances has been crushed by a well-informed federal judge.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, subpoenaed financial records from an accounting firm that has been handling financials for Trump and several of his businesses for many years.
On May 20, Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued his decision in Trump v. Committee on Oversight and Reform, ruling that President Trump cannot block the committee’s subpoena to Trump’s accountant, Mazars. The judge found that the committee had demonstrated a facially valid legislative purpose for its investigation and the issuance of the subpoena.
Judge Ahmit Mehta denied Trump’s legal counsel’s assertion that Congress had no power to investigate a sitting President, for illegal activity. Judge Meta cited the Watergate investigation as well as the Congressional investigation into President Bill Clinton’s conduct with Whitewater before he took office.
Trump’s counsel stated Congressional motives were suspect, but Judge Meta disposed of this by writing:
“Congress’s motives are off-limits.”
It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct—past or present—even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.
Congress plainly views itself as having sweeping authority to investigate illegal conduct of a President, before and after taking office. This court is not prepared to roll back the tide of history.
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