Appeals court rules House should get Trump financial records

Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington D.C

President Donald Trump's efforts to keep his political opponents from getting his financial records took a big hit Friday when a federal court upheld a subpoena from House Democrats in a 2-1 ruling. In New York, Trump sued to prevent Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with House subpoenas for banking and financial records.

In any event, to keep the president's tax returns hidden, Trump and his lawyers are running out of options.

"Today's ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for congressional oversight, our constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law", Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement.

'Disputes between Congress and the president are a recurring plot in our national story, ' Judge David Tatel wrote in the 66-page opinion. Although acknowledging that the Committee is pursuing a "valid legislative inquiry", the dissent insists that the Mazars subpoena is nonetheless invalid because it "seeks to investigate individual suspicions of criminality against the President", an inquiry that "may be pursued only through impeachment". Mr. Trump was fighting a subpoena by the House Oversight Committee demanding Mazars turn over the records.

The president could try to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tatel was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

The decision by the three-judge panel - with Democratic appointees, Tatel and Patricia Millett in the majority and one judge Trump named, Neomi Rao, dissenting - isn't the last word on the subject.

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"The Constitution and our historical practice draw a consistent line between the legislative and judicial powers of Congress". His lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that Congress had no legitimate legislative goal for getting the materials.

Trump's legal team issued an emergency appeal of the decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. If the House wants to require presidents to disclose their tax returns while in office, their first step should be to propose that in legislation, or at least pretend that's the goal of the demand for evidence.

The three-judge panel said Mazars doesn't have to comply with the House subpoena right away, granting a 7-day reprieve while Trump's lawyers file their next inevitable appeal.

Trump's lawyers continue to insist the subpoena isn't a "legitimate exercise" of Congress' authority, and an appeal announcement is likely coming soon.

Trump is also in court trying to stop the Manhattan district attorney from obtaining his tax returns.

Trump had argued that Oversight committee seeking the records from Mazars is out to get him and lacks a legitimate "legislative purpose" for its request.

The White House, which has characterized congressional investigations into the president as "harassment", argued that Congress did not need the information to fulfill its role as legislator.

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