A judge agreed Wednesday that a House committee has a right to see former President Trump's tax records, within limits. US District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington said the House Oversight Committee may subpoena some of the documents from Trump's accounting firm, Mazars. The former president has fought the release, and an aide said he'll probably appeal, the Wall Street Journal reports. The House Oversight Committee's Democratic chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, said she was pleased by much of the opinion but found it "disappointing that the Court, despite finding that the entire subpoena served valid legislative purposes, narrowed the subpoena in some respects." Trump lost a separate round in the long battle over his financial records on July 30, when the Justice Department decided the Treasury Department has to turn over tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee.
The case has been to the Supreme Court and back. This time, Mehta applied the considerations that Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion articulated last year, supporting parts of the subpoena related to the emoluments clause, per CNN, including the Trump hotel lease for Washington's Old Post Office. The committee provided substantial evidence that Trump "likely received foreign payments during the term of his presidency," the judge wrote. That shows the panel "is not engaged in a baseless fishing expedition," the ruling says. But on separation of powers grounds, the judge decided the House panel cannot see Trump's personal financial records as part of a reconsideration of financial disclosure rules for presidents. Mehta was appointed by President Obama. (Read more Trump tax return stories.)