House Democrats press case for seeing Trump’s business records from accounting firm

U.S. lawmakers have the right to see President Donald Trump’s personal business records held by his accounting firm, attorneys for a Democrat-led House committee told a U.S. appeals court panel.

“The Oversight Committee is investigating issues of national importance concerning ethics and conflicts of interest across the Executive Branch,” the committee’s lawyers said in papers filed with the Washington-based appellate court on Monday. “Mr. Trump and his companies have continually engaged in stonewalling intended to obstruct and undermine these inquiries.”

The argument is intended to rebut Trump’s contention the committee isn’t entitled to the documents, dating back to 2011, because they’re not sought for a legitimate legislative purpose. A lower court judge rejected that argument in May, prompting the president’s private attorneys to appeal.

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers in the White House
U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 31, 2017. Trumpannounced that 93% of manufacturing industry executivessurveyed by NAM, a lobbying group for the manufacturing industry, said they were optimistic on the future of the economy. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg

A three-judge panel composed of two Democratic presidential appointees, David Tatel and Patricia Millett, and one Trump-nominee, Neomi Rao, is scheduled to take up the case on July 12.

The Oversight committee’s demand that Mazars USA LLP turn over Trump’s business records parallels a separate House Financial Services Committee request for records from Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp. The president has appealed a New York federal judge’s refusal to block those subpoenas. A hearing hasn’t been scheduled in that case.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has also said he will likely sue to compel the U.S. Treasury Department to produce Trump’s tax returns for the past six years.

The cases are Trump v. Mazars USA LLP, 19-5142, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (Washington) and Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, 19-1540, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (New York).