President Donald Trump sicced his lawyers on an accounting firm facing a subpoena for Trump’s financial records from the House Oversight and Reform Committee, threatening legal action if records are produced, Politico reported Monday.
Oversight chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings’s subpoena, to be issued today, would ask Mazars USA for more than a decade’s worth of Trump’s financial records as they relate to “the Trump Organization, the president’s revocable trust and other subsidiaries,” according to Politico.
In response, Trump lawyers William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino reportedly warned the firm with legal action if it were to follow through with the request, characterizing a potential subpoena as a politically motivated move by the Democrats to attack Trump.
“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’ outside counsel Jerry D. Bernstein. “The Democrats’ fervor has only intensified after the special counsel squelched their ‘Russia collusion’ narrative.”
The move follows a broader trend of Trump trying to keep his financial records secret from the Democratic House, as the Democratic-run House Ways and Means Committee is currently mired in a battle with Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin over Trump’s tax returns. On Monday, Mnuchin said he will “follow the law” and that the Treasury department was “consulting with the Department of Justice.”
This subpoena would follow the committee’s formal request made last month asking the firm to provide the records of more than 10 years of Trump’s financials. Cummings reportedly told the firm they wanted the documents to corroborate testimony from Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen that the president altered the value of his assets to his own benefit. At the time, Mazars requested a subpoena to be able to comply with the request.
In addition to all of this, Politico reported that Oversight ranking Republican member Rep. Jim Jordan apparently wrote his own incredibly dramatic memo sent to other members on the committee on Monday, calling Cummings’ subpoena an “irresponsible and gravely dangerous course of conduct in a singular obsession of attacking President Trump and his family for political gain.”
What a fitting development on Tax Day, huh?
Update, 9:50 p.m.:
The committee has now served the subpoena and released a memo in response to some of the objections raised by Jordan.
The memo read, in part:
[Jordan] inaccurately claimed in his memorandum that the Committee’s investigation is not a “responsible” use of the oversight power because the President’s financial records are “personal.” He also inaccurately claimed that I never “attempted to explain why his probe has any legitimacy.” As my memorandum set forth in detail on Friday, the documents being sought are key to the Committee’s ongoing investigations of matters squarely within our jurisdiction, including: whether the President may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office, whether the President has undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions, whether the President is complying with the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution, and whether the President accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other federal entities.
The Ranking Member is embarking on an unprecedented path of partisanship that all Members of the House of Representatives should find concerning because it could have a detrimental impact on Congress’ ability to exercise its core Constitutional oversight responsibilities for years to come.