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Appeals Court Rules Democrats Can Subpoena Trump Financial Records

President Donald Trump talks to reporters from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., August 9, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

A Washington D.C. circuit court upheld on Friday a lower court ruling that the House Oversight Committee is entitled to subpoena President Trump’s financial records.

Trump had appealed the lower court’s ruling but his appeal was rejected in Friday’s decision. The judges rejected the appeal 2-1.

Mazars, the accounting firm that handles Trump’s financial records, will now likely be compelled to turn them over to Congress.

Trump has repeatedly refused to publicize his tax returns, despite promising to do so during his 2016 presidential campaign. The refusal has drawn the ire of Democrats, who have tried in vain to force Trump to release his tax returns through the courts.

A Manhattan judge ruled on Monday that Mazars must submit eight years’ records of Trump’s tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., as part of the latter’s investigation into former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Cohen is currently serving a three year prison sentence for campaign finance violations in connection with the payment. Daniels has said Trump had an affair with her, while Trump has denied the allegation.

Justice Department lawyers tried to block Vance’s subpoena citing presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, but were overruled by federal judge Victor Marrero.

Trump’s defense was “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values,” wrote Marrero in his ruling.

Democrats argue that Trump’s finances should be revealed in order to determine whether Trump is implicated in conflicts of interest stemming from his continued involvement with his business organization while serving in the presidency.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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