Elijah Cummings, D-Md., pauses as he speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Sept. 17, 2014.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

To keep financial records secret, Trump sues key House Democrat

Updated

Last week, as part of the congressional investigation into Donald Trump’s controversial finances, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) issued a subpoena to Mazars USA, directing the firm to turn over the president’s financial records. Almost immediately, the president’s new lawyers – hired to keep Trump’s finances secret – sent a letter to Mazars USA, insisting that the firm ignore that federal subpoena.

Today, Trump and the Trump Organization took this one step further.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization are suing House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to block a subpoena for years of financial records from accounting firm Mazars USA.

The lawyers filed the lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, saying the subpoena “lacks any legitimate legislative purpose, is an abuse of power, and is just another example of overreach by the president’s political opponents.”

To the extent that reality matters, the House Oversight Committee recently heard testimony from Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal attorney and fixer, who alerted lawmakers to a series of alleged financial misdeeds committed by Donald Trump.

Lawmakers are also aware of credible allegations of criminal fraud, criminal tax evasion, and money laundering, which the American president exploited to fuel his rise to power.

In other words, the idea that Cummings’ request for information “lacks any legitimate legislative purpose” seems a little silly: the Oversight Committee, which has an expansive purview, is obviously following up on evidence of suspected wrongdoing.

Indeed, it seems this new lawsuit does little except make clear that the president and his team are desperate to keep his financial records, including his tax returns, secret.

And as a rule, when Trump World acts as if it has something to hide, it’s because Trump World has something to hide.

The new litigation, which asks a federal court to block compliance with Cummings’ subpoena, is online in its entirety here (pdf).

Update: I should mention, in the interest of disclosure, that a blog post I wrote is referenced on page 11 of today’s court filing.