The first court fight over subpoenas between President Donald Trump and House Democrats got underway in federal district court Tuesday where a judge heard arguments on a claim brought by the Trump Company against Democratic House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings.
Include Congress as an interest to keep up to date on the latest Congress news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
The Trump Organization submitted the match against Cummings in his main capacity as chairman of your home Oversight Committee in April, seeking relief from the subpoena that the committee released to Trump’s accounting firm looking for 10 years worth of the president’s monetary records.
“The Democrat Celebration, with its newfound control of the U.S. Legislature, has declared all-out political war versus President Donald J. Trump. Subpoenas are their weapon of choice,” read a grievance filed by Trump’s attorneys in April. “House Democrats are singularly consumed with finding something they can utilize to damage the President politically.”
In reaction, Cummings accused the president of “extraordinary stonewalling” and said he has yet to produce “a single document or witness” to his committee.
“The President has a long history of attempting to utilize unwarranted claims to attack his enemies, but there is merely no legitimate legal basis to disrupt this duly authorized subpoena from Congress,” Cummings stated in a statement Monday. “This grievance reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it consists of a list of unreliable details.”
The original subpoena had required Trump’s accounting company, Mazars USA, to turn files over to the oversight committee by April29 The deadline was moved till after the judge in Tuesday’s case could rule.
The judge in the case, Judge Amit P. Mehta, consented to fast-track proceedings in the case and means to rule on the case from the bench Tuesday. Lawyers for Trump refuted Mehta’s choice to speed up the case Monday arguing that the expedited case denies them “sensible time to effectively prepare for a trial that will finally decide their entire case.”
However lawyers representing the Oversight Committee stated in a filing Monday that they agreed with the judge’s option to move on with an expedited choice, keeping in mind that “expeditious resolution of the subpoena’s validity is necessary for the Committee’s examination to continue.”
At the start of Tuesday’s hearing, Judge Mehta said he did not intend to rule from the bench, but would do so “without delay.”
“My decision in this case will be issued quickly, but it will be on a timeline that shows the gravity of the problems presented,” Mehta said. “No judge would make a rash decision involving such essential issues for the sake of expediency.”
Mehta is an Obama-appointed judge who’s no stranger to House Oversight requests for information. In August 2018, Mehta denied a demand from Home Democrats to get Trump Hotel Records from the General Service Administration, ruling that the Democrats who were at the time a minority party in your house did not have standing.
A spokesperson for Mazars U.S.A., which was called as a defendant in the case, confirmed receipt of the claim and stated in late April that the firm “will respect this procedure and will adhere to all legal obligations.”
Cummings first served the subpoena in early April in an effort to prove elements of Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen’s statement before the committee.
This is the first of potentially many subpoena disagreements that might be headed to the courts in the coming months as House Democrats increase their examinations into the Trump administration. The White House has signified it’s objective not to adhere to numerous subpoenas issued by House Democrats.