Trump lawyers, committees reach agreement to hold off on subpoenas

Clay Curtis
May 26, 2019

US District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who was also appointed by Obama, is overseeing the NY case.

Trump is appealing a ruling this week from a federal judge who declined to block the subpoena from the House Oversight Committee, one of several legal battles over Trump's business dealings that in recent weeks went Congress' way.

The hearing falls two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled against Trump, finding that the president can not block a House subpoena for information from a financial services firm that had done accounting work for him and the Trump Organization.

He also brushed aside the argument made by Trump's lawyers that the demand for the documents lacks a legitimate legislative objective.

Scannell noted that the judge also said he would "denying their stay pending appeal" meaning he refused to "put these decisions aside, so that the Trump Organization and the president could appeal this case".

Ramos described the subpoenas as "undeniably broad" but "clearly pertinent".

The Justice Department is appealing a judge's decision in a separate case in Washington brought by congressional Democrats alleging that the president's private business violates the Constitution's ban on gifts or payments from foreign governments.

After an hour of oral arguments, Barack Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled the subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capital One have "a legitimate legislative goal", and that Trump was unlikely to prevail in a lawsuit to quash the requests.

Congress specifically can probe the president for conflicts of interest and ethical questions, Amit Mehta wrote.

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"It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a president for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct - past or present - even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry", he added.

A D.C. Circuit ruling this summer would land when the justices are scattered on their break.

Mazars won't have to turn over the subpoena for another seven days, according to the judge, but other courts will have to step in to stop the accounting firm from complying with Congress after that. The subpoena seeks financial records of Trump and associated entities from 2011 through 2018.

The logo of Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank.

Cummings called the ruling a "resounding victory for the rule of law and our Constitutional system of checks and balances".

The House could also vote to impeach Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on a range of issues during an event devoted to "America's farmers and ranchers" in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2019.

If the high court decided it should weigh in, either at the request of the Trump lawyers or the House, it could set an expedited briefing schedule.

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