Appeals Court Rules House Should Get Trump Financial Records

Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington D.C

Donald Trump pauses while speaking in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington D.C

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, affirmed a lower court ruling that the House Oversight Committee's subpoena to Mazars LLP for the data was valid. The subpoena was issued in April, well before House Democrats announced they were in the midst of an impeachment inquiry of the president, and the fight is not directly related to that inquiry.

The list of documents makes no mention of Trump's tax returns, which are the subject of separate legal disputes.

Trump's legal team told Fox News they are "reviewing options".

Neomi Rao, who was confirmed to the appeals court in March, to fill a seat vacated by the supreme court pick Brett Kavanaugh, dissented from the ruling.

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.

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In her dissent, Rao said the court's opinion blurred the "consistent line" between Congress' legislative powers and its impeachment powers.

"A congressional committee, as committees have done repeatedly over the past two centuries, issued an investigative subpoena, and the target of that subpoena, questioning the committee's legislative objective, has asked a court to invalidate it", the Court of Appeals' majority opinion stated.

The House panel has said it needed the records in part 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.

The president is also embroiled in lawsuits with the House Ways and Means Committee, which is trying to get six years of Trump tax records from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and has the standing right to request similar information from the state of NY.

The subpoena concerns allegations Mr. Trump paid hush money to two porn stars during the 2016 campaign. 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. At that point, the court might as well take all of the Trump tax-return actions and consolidate them, if for no other reason than to only have to do this once.

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Though the court's decision was split, the case is widely considered to be a tough one for Trump, even with support from the Justice Department.

Commenting on Twitter on possible outcomes from Friday's ruling in the Mazars case, the Republican consultant and never-Trumper Rick Wilson counselled caution.

As of this morning, we're one step closer to seeing Donald Trump's hidden tax returns. That case is also before an appeals court in NY that has yet to rule.

Mazars, which was recently also subpoenaed by NY state in a different attempt to obtain the president's financial records, has taken no position on the subpoena's validity, implying that it will comply with the Court's decision.

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