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Obama-Appointed Judge Allows Democrats To Subpoena Trump Business Records

Judge Trump Business Records
In a ruling that should chill the heart of every American who values his Fourth Amendment rights, Obama-appointed DC District Court Judge Amit Mehta has refused to quash a House Oversight Committee subpoena for President Trump’s business records from before he was President.

In a 41-page opinion, (you can read it through this link) Judge rejected the President’s attempt to block the committee's subpoena, asserting that Congress is well within its authority to investigate the President.

CNN's Katelyn Polantz observes that Mehta's opinion will now likely become fodder for other judges to consider as Trump and his Cabinet try to hold off Congress from getting his business records, such as through the IRS, banks and in other court fights.

President Trump's lawyers argued the subpoena to Mazars “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose,” and is an “unconstitutional attempt to exercise ‘the powers of law enforcement.’” However, Congress specifically can probe the President for conflicts of interest and ethical questions, Mehta wrote.

"History has shown that congressionally-exposed criminal conduct by the President or a high-ranking Executive Branch official can lead to legislation," Mehta wrote, citing the Watergate investigation by the Senate.

"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.

The subpoena seeks access to a slew of Trump financial documents dating back to 2011, including personal records and records of various affiliated business and entities reported Gregg Re of Fox News. Democrats pursued the subpoena after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress in February that the president's accountants routinely and improperly altered his financial statements -- including some signed by accounting firm Mazars -- to misrepresent his assets and liabilities.

Mr. Re reports Judge Mehta acknowledged a high likelihood that any documents obtained by House Democrats would quickly leak, and become partisan political fodder.

"[T]he court is not naïve to reality," Mehta wrote, admitting there "is a chance that some records obtained from Mazars will become public soon after they are produced."

Mehta added that he was "well aware that this case involves records concerning the private and business affairs of the President of the United States," dating back to well before he declared his candidacy.

But, reported Gregg Re, Judge Mehta said the Democrats' subpoena fell within established congressional investigative and oversight powers, which generally only require that subpoenas serve some "valid legislative purpose." The judge noted that the probe could uncover conflicts of interest in the White House, as well as potential violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause or the reporting requirements of The Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

“Chairman Cummings flat-out admitted that he wanted to ‘investigate whether the President may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office’ and ‘review whether he has accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other federal entities,’” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the filing.

Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, called the subpoena “an unprecedented abuse of the Committee’s subpoena authority to target and expose the private financial information of the President of the United States.”

The Trump team filing came after Cummings’ committee issued several subpoenas for Mazars Accounting in an effort to obtain financial documents and audits prepared for Trump and his businesses over the last decade.

Cummings also sought independent auditor’s reports, annual statements and other documents related to Trump’s finances spanning from 2011 to 2018.

We find it interesting that Judge Mehta cited Watergate as a precedent for allowing the subpoena to go forward since Watergate was all about illegal action taken by a President while he was in office and we wonder if Judge Mehta would have ruled the same way had House Republicans subpoenaed former President Obama’s immigration records, college records and birth certificate.

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Subpoena of Trump's taxes

So now Congress gets to subpoena anything they want because it MIGHT show lawbreaking? Does this mean the DOJ can no demand tax returns from Democrats in the House? Sauce for geese and ganders...

Maybe we need a special prosecutor to look into this!

President should appeal on the basis of the Bill of Rights (4th)

The initial argument (especially by Madison and Hamilton) against the Bill of Rights was that they were already generally accepted and included in the body of the Constitution. Fortunately, others (especially Jefferson) convincingly argued for amendment to specify and protect the basic rights.

The Fourth Amendment is specifically clear.
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

If the President (and his supporters) are subject to "fishing expeditions" that go beyond "probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and PARTICULARLY [emphasis added] describing" what is to be searched or seized; who else among the people is safe from unchecked government action? The decisions of politically weaponized lower courts should be appealed on the basis of the 4th Amendment.

Tax records.

According to IRS officials and other legal experts Trumps tax filings are private and will not be made available to the House members. If any rogue employees of the IRS access or illegally release the filings, as happened earlier to the NYT, these people will be severely punished because the IRS has already been warned about such employees.

What about O'Bama?

I want to see O'Bama's passport records, his school records and the ORIGINAL birth Certificate, not the cheap knock off he had made into a pdf file.