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Judge Sides With Congress on Trump's Financial Records

Committee's reasons for wanting to see documents are ruled valid
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 20, 2019 5:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – A federal judge in Washington ruled Monday against President Trump in a financial records dispute with Congress. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta, who was appointed by President Obama, said Trump cannot block a House subpoena of financial records, the AP reports. He said the Democratic-led House committee seeking the information has said it believes the documents would help lawmakers consider strengthening ethics and disclosure laws, among other things. The committee's reasons were "valid legislative purposes," Mehta said, and it was not for him "to question whether the Committee's actions are truly motivated by political considerations."

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The decision comes during a widespread effort on behalf of the president to refuse to cooperate with congressional requests for information and records. In the case before Mehta, Trump and his business organization sued to block the subpoena issued in April to Mazars USA, an accountant for the president and the Trump Organization. Trump's lawyers said the subpoena "has no legitimate legislative purpose." In suing in both Washington and New York to beat back subpoenas, Trump's lawyers said congressional investigations are legitimate only if legislation might result from them. In the New York case, Trump, his business, and family have sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent them from complying with congressional subpoenas for banking and financial records. A Wednesday hearing is planned in that case. (Trump says he doesn't need banks anyway.)

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