Trump Sues Elijah Cummings to Block Subpoena for Financial Records
In a bid to block subpoenas for financial details from President Donald Trump’s businesses, he and the Trump Organization are suing Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the House Oversight and Reform Chairman.
Cummings had earlier authorized subpoenas for Trump’s longtime accountant, Mazars USA LLP, and several other Trump entities, and on Monday, April 22, the president filed the lawsuit against Cummings in D.C. District Court, reports CBS News.
President Trump, who also filed for a temporary restraining order, is reportedly claiming in a complaint that Congress only has oversight power on matters concerning legislation.
According to CBS News, Trump’s lawyer in the case is William Consovoy while his entities – including The Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation, the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, and the Trump Old Post Office LLC – are represented by Stefan Passantino.
JUST IN: One of President Trump’s personal lawyers has asked a federal court to block a subpoena issued by Rep. Elijah Cummings trying to get financial records from Trump’s businesses.— NPR (@NPR) April 22, 2019
In a joint statement, Consovoy and Passantino said:
"We welcome the opportunity to represent President Trump and the other plaintiffs in this matter. The committee's attempt to obtain years' worth of confidential information from their accountants lacks any legitimate legislative purposes, is an abuse of power, and is just another example of overreach by the president's political opponents. We look forward to vindicating our clients' rights in this matter."
"We will not allow congressional presidential harassment to go unanswered,” added Jay Sekulow, one of the president's attorneys.
Just in from @RepCummings, a pretty stark warning to members of the administration:— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) April 24, 2019
"These employees and their personal attorneys should think very carefully about their own legal interests rather than being swept up in the obstruction schemes of the Trump Administration." pic.twitter.com/Wgj9C0TCqt
In response, Cummings, who once accused Trump of making money off his office as POTUS, slammed the latter's complaint, saying it comes off more as political talking points than an intellectual legal document.
"The president has a long history of trying to use baseless lawsuits to attack his adversaries, but there is simply no valid legal basis to interfere with this duly authorized subpoena from Congress. This complaint reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it contains a litany of inaccurate information.”
“The White House is engaged in unprecedented stonewalling on all fronts,” Cummings concluded. “And they have refused to produce a single document or witness to the Oversight Committee during this entire year."
President Trump’s accountant, Mazars USA, has meanwhile declined to comment on the legal proceedings as a matter of corporate policy.