May 21, 2019

We are one step closer to seeing Donald Trump's financial records after a Federal Judge in D.C. ruled that the financial firm, Mazars, must comply with a subpoena from Congress requesting financial records going back years. The Treasury has refused to hand over Trump's taxes, so Democrats have started going straight to banks and financial firms to get them.

In the 41 page opinion, Judge Amit Mehta eviscerated all of Trump's attempts at trying to block the subpoena, making it clear that Congress is well within its right to investigate Donald Trump.

This opinion, in addition to addressing Mazars, may also be used in future cases involving committees attempting to obtain Trump's business records through alternate means, such as the IRS, banks and other firms. A judge in New York is currently considering a challenge by Donald Trump in an effort to prevent the House from securing records from Capital One and Deutsche Bank.

In his opinion, Judge Mehta cited numerous historical references in which Congress probed a President's background for potential conflicts of interest - including Watergate, Whitewater, and Teapot Dome, covering both Democratic and Republican Presidents. In other words, not a witch hunt or politically motivated "Presidential Harassment."

Mehta wrote:

"History has shown that Congressionally-exposed criminal conduct by the president or a high-ranking Executive Branch official can lead to legislation. 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."

Obviously, Trump plans to appeal.

In the meantime, Mazars won't have to do anything for seven days. But another court will have to step in to stop the accounting firm from complying after that point since the judge declined to enter a stay pending appeal. If they deny a hearing or reaffirm Judge Mehta's finding, Trump's last chance would be the Supreme Court. If the appeals court doesn't stay Mehta's ruling, Mazars would have to comply after the seven days are up and there is zero chance the Supreme Court would hear the case quickly enough to intervene. They could enter a stay themselves, but that would be highly out of the ordinary and Chief Justice Roberts may be too much of a constitutionalist to upend hundreds of years of established law to intervene this way.

Trump is obviously scared, telling reporters on Monday evening: "We disagree with that ruling, it's crazy" before pointing out that the Judge was a Obama appointee.

Expect many angry tweets Tuesday morning.

Update: Oh, this should go well...for House Dems, anyway.

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