The House Oversight Committee intends to reissue a subpoena for President Donald Trump’s financial records next year, House Counsel Douglas Letter said in a federal court filing Monday.
The House has been pursuing Trump’s financial documents form his accounting firm, Mazars USA, since Democrats took power in early 2019 but the effort has been tied up in the courts. The case landed before the Supreme Court this year, and the justices determined that the lower courts had failed to scrutinize the subpoena closely enough, kicking it back to them for further review.
Now, as the congressional session winds down, the House is signaling that it intends to continue pursuing Trump’s financial documents even as he prepares to leave office.
"If this case has not been resolved before the end of this Congress, the Chairwoman will reissue the subpoena to Mazars at the start of the next Congress,’ Letter wrote to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. "It remains critically important that the Oversight Committee—and the House more broadly—be able to secure prompt subpoena enforcement without the risk that investigative subjects will thwart its efforts through litigation delay."
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The documents, Democrats say, are needed for potential ethics reform legislation that may be considered in the next Congress. Trump has also flirted with the prospect of a 2024 run and is likely to be a GOP power broker even when he exits the White House. Republicans have argued that the effort to obtain Trump’s records amounts to a political attack on the president, who broke with decades of precedent by not releasing his tax returns to the public.
Trump’s legal team has argued in a related case that a congressional subpoena for testimony from Trump’s former White House counsel Don McGahn should expire as soon as the current session of Congress ends on Jan. 3. But in the McGahn case as well, the House indicated that it would continue pursuing McGahn’s testimony and that Congress has historically adopted rules that permit its litigation to continue without interruption even if it spans multiple legislative sessions.
An appeals court considering a third congressional subpoena, this one for Trump’s records form Deutsche Bank, recently opted to send the case back to the district court for further review.
Democrats have worried for months that Trump would simply run out the clock on their efforts to unearth documents in their investigations into his business and international relationships. The cases could also decide crucial questions about the authority of congressional investigators to obtain sensitive information about a sitting president or from senior Executive Branch officials.