A federal judge in Washington, D.C. rejected President Donald Trump’s bid to quash a congressional subpoena for his business empire’s accounting records Monday.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said the courts should assume Congress conducts investigations and issues subpoenas in good faith, despite Trump’s assertions that Democratic lawmakers subpoenaed his accounting records to embarrass him politically.
“Courts have grappled for more than a century with the question of the scope of Congress’s investigative power,” Mehta wrote in the decision. “The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose.”
“Applying those principles here compels the conclusion that President Trump cannot block the subpoena to Mazars,” he added.
The speed with which Monday’s decision was released was not surprising — Mehta indicated earlier in May that he would place the dispute on an accelerated time table.
The judge also rejected the president’s request to stay his decision pending appeal — that means Mehta’s ruling will remain in effect while Trump asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to lift Mehta’s decision.
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