Indian-American judge orders US President accounting firm to hand over records to Congress

Vastavam web: An Indian-American judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s attempt to block House Democrats from getting his financial records, dealing an early setback to his administration in its legal battle with Congress.

Judge Amit Mehta of the DC District Court on Monday decisively ruled in favour of the House Oversight Committee, whose chair, Elijah Cummings had subpoenaed 10 years’ worth of Trump’s financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA back in April.

He told the accounting firm that it will need to turn over Trump’s accounting records from before he was president to the Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee, CNN reported.

In a 41-page opinion, Mehta of the DC District Court dealt a significant blow to the White House as he rejected Trump’s attempt to block the committee’s subpoena, asserting that Congress is well within its authority to investigate the president.

The Trump administration recently issued a blanket denial of all Democrats’ subpoena requests, saying the information they seek is politically motivated. Democrats, on the other hand, say the administration’s actions amount to an unprecedented attempt to block Congress from its constitutionally mandated oversight.

The House of Representatives has flagged the ruling to a judge in New York, where another court is considering challenges to House subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capitol One for more Trump records, CNN said.

Congress specifically can probe the president for conflicts of interest and ethical questions, Mehta wrote. He cited everything from the presidency of James Buchanan, to the Teapot Dome scandal, to Watergate and Whitewater to back up his ruling.

Mehta noted that in the past 50 years, Congress had twice investigated a sitting president for alleged criminal activity before starting impeachment proceedings Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, and Bill Clinton during the Whitewater scandal.