President Donald Trump, a man who definitely doesn’t have anything to hide, has sued House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings to block a House subpoena of his financial records.
Arguing that the demand for a decade’s worth of Trump’s financial history from the president’s accounting firm Mazars USA “has no legitimate legislative purpose,” attorneys for the president and his various businesses claimed that that Cummings’ request is “all-out political war against President Donald J. Trump” in which “subpoenas are their weapon of choice.”
The president’s lawsuit comes one week after Trump’s personal attorneys William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino warned Mazars not to comply with Cummings’ subpoena or face potential legal action.
“It is no secret that the Democrat (sic) Party has decided to use its new House majority to launch a flood of investigations into the president’s personal affairs in hopes of using anything they can find to damage him politically,” Consovoy and Passantino wrote to Mazars’ attorney Jerry Bernstein.
Cummings’ request for Trump’s financial history comes as a direct result of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony to Congress, as well as a Washington Post investigation, in which Trump was accused of routinely manipulating financial documents to secure favorable insurance rates and tax liabilities.
Nevertheless, in their suit, the president’s attorneys said that the Oversight Committee is waging a preemptive 2020 election fight. Per the suit:
With this subpoena, the Oversight Committee is instead assuming the powers of the Department of Justice, investigating (dubious and partisan) allegations of illegal conduct by private individuals outside of government. Its goal is to expose Plaintiffs’ private financial information for the sake of exposure, with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the President now and in the 2020 election
Meanwhile, Democrats are also fighting to obtain Trump’s long-fabled tax documents, demanding the IRS turn over the president’s tax returns by April 23. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has suggested he’ll fight efforts to procure Trump’s tax forms, saying his department would “protect the president as we would protect any individual taxpayer under their rights,” despite the law stating unequivocally that “the secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.”
Update, 1:41 p.m. ET: Rep. Cummings has responded to the lawsuit in a statement emailed to Splinter:
The President has a long history of trying to use baseless lawsuits to attack his adversaries, but there is simply no valid legal basis to interfere with this duly authorized subpoena from Congress. This complaint reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it contains a litany of inaccurate information. The White House is engaged in unprecedented stonewalling on all fronts, and they have refused to produce a single document or witness to the Oversight Committee during this entire year.