In a blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to block oversight of his business dealings, a U.S. court on Friday backed a House of Representative's request for the Republican’s financial records including tax documents, Reuters informs.
The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit moves House Democrats closer to accessing records that would shed light on Trump’s business interests and how he built his fortune.
The court rejected Trump’s bid to stop his longtime accounting firm Mazars LLP from handing over the documents.
“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,” Judge David Tatel wrote.
Tatel added: “We conclude that in issuing the challenged subpoena, the Committee was engaged in a ‘legitimate legislative investigation.’” Judge Neomi Rao, who was appointed by Trump to the D.C. appeals court, wrote a dissenting opinion.
U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said the ruling was a “fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law.”
The committee said it needed the records to determine if Trump — whose business interests have ranged from real estate and golf courses to a reality TV show — complied with laws requiring disclosure of his assets, and to assess whether those laws need to be changed.
As we reported earlier, the scandal surrounding Trump's telephone conversation with Zelensky arose because the US president turned to the leader of another country in order to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter. US Democratic congressmen have launched an investigation with the intention of impeaching the head of the White House.