President Donald Trump proclaimed “Game Over” with a tweet last week after the release of the Mueller report, which found he didn’t collude with the Russian government during his 2016 campaign.
Far from it, House Democrats say. Quite the opposite, in fact, and more like “game on” as the political witch hunt is clearly far from over, much to the dismay of Trump and his attorneys.
The president and his business filed a lawsuit against House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday, seeking to block a subpoena sent last week seeking information about his finances.
The complaint was filed in Washington, D.C. federal court, with Trump’s lawyers saying Democrats have “declared all-out political war” against the president, and “subpoenas are their weapon of choice.”
The House Oversight Committee last week subpoenaed Mazars, an accounting firm the president used to prepare several years of financial statements, according to the filing. The committee requested a number of financial documents and related materials to Trump, his trust, the Trump Organization, the Trump Corporation, Trump’s holdings company, the Trump Foundation and the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Mazars declined to comply without a subpoena, so one was issued, according to Cummings.
Lawyer William Consovoy said in a statement that the attempt by Cummings and the committee to “obtain years’ worth of confidential information from their accountants lacks any legitimate legislative purpose, is an abuse of power, and is just another example of overreach by the president’s political opponents.”
“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” White House counsel Jay Sekulow said on NBC News.
The president’s legal team is arguing that the subpoena is an invalid action for a congressional committee to take.
“With this subpoena, the Oversight Committee is instead assuming the powers of the Department of Justice,” the complaint says.
“Its goal is to expose plaintiffs’ private financial information for the sake of exposure, with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election.”
Cummings dismissed the lawsuit as an attempt to sidestep Congress’ oversight powers.
“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,” Cummings said. “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, and they have refused to produce a single document or witness to the Oversight Committee during this entire year.”