A Washington, D.C.-based federal judge has sided with House Oversight Committee Democrats seeking to enforce their subpoena of Trump accounting firm Mazars USA, in a major ruling that breathes new life into Democrats’ ongoing efforts to probe the president’s financial dealings.
Barack Obama-appointed judge Amit P. Mehta, in a lengthy opinion that quoted President James Buchanan, said he was “well aware that this case involves records concerning the private and business affairs of the President of the United States.”
But, he said, he would not stay his ruling pending appeal.
The president’s legal team, earlier this month, had asked the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to prohibit Mazars from “enforcing or complying” with the subpoena, issued in April.
Trump’s lawyers had argued the subpoena to Mazars “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” and is an “unconstitutional attempt to exercise ‘the powers of law enforcement.’”
Trump’s lawyers also argued that the committee, led by Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., is leading several Trump-focused investigations.
“Chairman Cummings flat-out admitted that he wanted to ‘investigate whether the President may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office’ and ‘review whether he has accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other federal entities,’” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
The filing came after Cummings’ committee issued several subpoenas for Mazars Accounting in an effort to obtain financial documents and audits prepared for Trump and his businesses over the last decade. Cummings also said he would issue a subpoena for independent auditor’s reports, annual statements and other documents related to Trump’s finances spanning from 2011 to 2018.
At the time, Mazars said it “will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.”
Fox News’ Bill Mears and Kristin Brown contributed to this report