The ruling, by a divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, means Trump will lose control of his long-secret financial records at Mazars USA LLP unless the full court reconsiders the decision or the U.S. Supreme Court blocks it. In a 2-1 decision, the judges rejected arguments made by lawyers for the president that the House Oversight and Reform Committee had no legitimate legislative reason to seek the information. Options include a request for the appeal to be heard "en banc" or, possibly, taking it to the Supreme Court. Trump's lawyers sued the House committee digging into his records in April, accusing them of acting in an unconstitutional manner. It's likely that the most recent ruling also will be appealed.
"Contrary to the President's arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars must comply", U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote.
Dissenting was Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, who said the court was expanding Congress's powers to a new point they'd never been before. The county of El Paso and the Border Network for Human Rights brought the lawsuit, contending that Trump had broken the law by diverting Defense Department funds to build the wall.
German banking and financial services giant Deutsche Bank may have destroyed its physical copies of President Trump's tax returns, an anonymous former executive from the bank has reportedly said. Later, in testimony before the Oversight Committee, Trump's onetime lawyer Michael Cohen acknowledged being the conduit for the payment, and went on to raise further questions about Trump's financial disclosures.
As Rachel noted on the show, Trump's legal team argued in that case that a sitting American president can not be investigated by anyone for any reason, no matter how serious the underlying accusation. On Monday, a federal judge rejected Trump's challenge to a Manhattan DA's subpoena for his tax records, blasting Trump's "repugnant" claim of absolute immunity while in office.
Judge Tatel and Judge Patricia Millett, an Obama appointee, said the House's regular investigative powers are strong enough to demand the most private information from the president.
She wrote in her dissent that Congress can only get the tax records if it is officially engaged in an impeachment proceeding, something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not taken a vote to authorize.
Citing a variety of cases involving former President Richard Nixon's papers and conduct, and former President Bill Clinton's, the court said that the subpoena is in pursuit of a valid legislative goal. The House has not invoked its impeachment power for the subpoena even though it is investigating whether Trump broke the law, she wrote.
Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the oversight committee, hailed the appeals court's decision.