Trump Loses Attempt To Shield Financial Records From Congress

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According to a statement from House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the panel has struck a deal to obtain some of Donald Trump’s financial records after years of attempts by the now former president to stop the committee from doing so.

The Oversight Committee originally issued a subpoena for Trump financial records from his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA in April of 2019. In early July of this year, after the dispute went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and then back to lower-level courts for further proceedings, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the panel’s investigation, concluding that Trump’s “financial information would advance the Committee’s consideration of ethics reform legislation across all three of its investigative tracks.” Those three tracks of investigative work include “presidential ethics and conflicts of interest, presidential financial disclosures, and presidential adherence to Constitutional safeguards against foreign interference and undue influence,” according to a press release from the panel.

Trump’s foreign financial ties often sparked serious concern. The former president won’t be appealing the D.C. appeals court’s ruling. “After numerous court victories, I am pleased that my Committee has now reached an agreement to obtain key financial documents that former President Trump fought for years to hide from Congress,” Maloney said this week. “In April 2019, the Oversight Committee issued a lawful subpoena for financial records as part of our investigation into President Trump’s unprecedented conflicts of interest, self-dealing, and foreign financial ties. After facing years of delay tactics, the Committee has now reached an agreement with the former President and his accounting firm, Mazars USA, to obtain critical documents. These documents will inform the Committee’s efforts to get to the bottom of former President Trump’s egregious conduct and ensure that future presidents do not abuse their position of power for personal gain.”

A three-judge panel on the same appeals court also recently ruled in favor of the House Ways and Means Committee obtaining some of Trump’s tax returns, but that court fight is continuing, with Trump seeking U.S. Supreme Court action. “In this case, the need for the Trump Parties’ information to inform potential legislation overrides the burden to the Executive Branch largely because that burden is so tenuous,” D.C. Circuit Judge David Sentelle said. Trump is also facing continued challenges from an ongoing civil probe into his company by New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who is examining the firm’s valuations of its assets. Issues with those violations, including alleged misrepresentations that were set to financially benefit the ex-president’s business, were a subject of 2019 testimony from ex-Trump ally Michael Cohen to the oversight panel. Cohen’s testimony took place under two months before the committee issued its subpoena to Mazars. Cohen produced documentation for his claims of malfeasance including portions of financial statements prepared by Mazars.