Aug 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats say subpoena for Trump's financial records meets Supreme Court's requirements

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Thursday released a memo arguing that House Democrats' subpoena for President Trump's financial records already meets the requirements set out by the Supreme Court for Congress to obtain those documents.

The backdrop: The Supreme Court kicked House Democrats' subpoena back to a lower court last month, ruling that neither side had put forward a compelling analysis of how to balance congressional subpoenas with the separation of powers.

  • "The House's approach would leave essentially no limits on the congressional power to subpoena the President’s personal records. A limitless subpoena power could transform the established practice of the political branches and allow Congress to aggrandize itself at the President's expense," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Supreme Court's ruling.

Worth noting: The subpoena doesn't target Trump directly, but is instead addressed to Mazars USA, the president's longtime accounting firm.

What they're saying: The memo from House Democrats argues that Trump's "non-public financial information is the best evidence to help Congress develop and enact legislation to promote transparency, enhance public confidence in the integrity of elected officials including the President, and prevent grave conflict of interests for this and any future presidents."

  • It says that the subpoena will move forward the House's "investigations into presidential ethics and conflicts of interest, presidential financial disclosures, and presidential adherence to constitutional safeguards to prevent corruption and undue influence, in aid of Congress’s consideration of presidential ethics reforms."

Read the memo.

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