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Trump financial records must be given to Congress, appeals court rules

Trump financial records must be given to Congress, appeals court rules

The May decision was the first time a federal court waded into the tussle about how far Congress can go in probing Trump and his business affairs, and marked an important victory for House Democrats. Or he could ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take his appeal.

The committee said it needed the records 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, and to assess whether those laws need to be changed.

The D.C. case, in which the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed Mazars for Trump's records, dates back to April when the House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed the firm. They include documents from 2011 to 2018 that the House wants for investigation into the president's reporting of his finances and potential conflicts of interest.

The president is separately trying to prevent NY state prosecutors from obtaining eight years of his tax returns from Mazars. U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero earlier Monday was unsparing toward the president's legal team as he dismissed Trump's lawsuit seeking to block the subpoena. He was joined by Judge Patricia Millett, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

As part of the ruling by the three judge panel Friday, the jurists write: "The fact that the subpoena in this case seeks information that concerns the President of the United States adds a twist, but not a surprising one: disputes between Congress and the President are a recurring plot in our national story".

"The constitution and our historical practice draw a consistent line between the legislative and judicial powers of Congress", she wrote.

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'The most important question is not whether Congress has put forth some legitimate legislative objective, but rather whether Congress is investigating suspicions of criminality or allegations that the President violated a law, ' Rao wrote, declaring that the House of Representatives 'may not use the legislative power to circumvent the protections and accountability that accompany the impeachment power'. That case is also before an appeals court in NY that has yet to rule.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have been on a hunt for Trump's tax returns since he bucked decades of tradition when he refused to release them during the 2016 election cycle. In New York, Trump sued to prevent Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with House subpoenas for banking and financial records.

A federal judge in Manhattan had denied Trump's effort to block the subpoena.

This hasn't been a good week for Donald Trump in court when it comes to keeping his income tax returns private.

Mr Trump had argued that Oversight committee seeking the records from Mazars is out to get him and lacks a legitimate "legislative purpose" for its request.

The White House, which has characterized congressional investigations into the president as "harassment", argued that Congress did not need the information to fulfill its role as legislator.