President Donald Trump’s accounting firm must honor a subpoena to turn over eight years of tax records to Congress, an appeals court ruled Friday. The decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was yet another development in a seemingly endless breaking news cycle, particularly since House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry.
The D.C. Circuit’s decision came just days after Trump’s legal team won a temporary stay in another case in New York, where a federal judge had also ruled that the President’s returns had to be turned over to Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance. It’s likely that the most recent ruling also will be appealed.
The House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the documents, but the President’s legal team argued that their investigation served no legislative purpose.
“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 in a 2-1 decision.
Tatel wrote that “we detect no inherent constitutional flaw in laws requiring Presidents to publicly disclose certain financial information. And that is enough. Without treading onto any other potentially fertile grounds from which constitutional legislation could flower, we conclude that given the constitutionally permissible options open to Congress in the field of financial disclosure, the challenged subpoena seeks ‘information about a subject on which legislation may be had.'”
Neoli Reo, a Trump nominee to the appeals court, dissented. Tatel was nominated by President Bill Clinton and Judge Patricia Millett, who joined him in the majority, was selected by President Barack Obama.