Via the Washington Post:
Trump on Monday lost an early round of his court fight with Democrats after a federal judge ruled the president’s accounting firm must turn over his financial records to Congress as lawmakers seek to assert their oversight authority.
Trump called the 41-page ruling from U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of the District of Columbia “crazy” and said he would appeal, adding: “We think it’s totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge.”
Lawyers for the president are fighting document and witness subpoenas on multiple fronts, and Mehta’s ruling came hours after former White House counsel Donald McGahn was directed not to appear before a congressional committee seeking testimony about his conversations with Trump.
Congressional Democrats have vowed to fight for evidence of potential misconduct by Trump and those close to him, and the president’s legal team is broadly resisting those efforts. How those fights play out in court in the months ahead could impact the 2020 presidential race.
In his decision, Mehta flatly rejected arguments from the president’s lawyers that the House Oversight Committee’s demands for the records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, were overly broad and served no legitimate legislative function.
“It is simply not fathomable,” the judge wrote, “that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.”
Trump has argued those congressional inquiries are politically motivated attacks on the authority of the presidency, while Democrats insist the subpoenas are essential to ensuring no president is above the law.
And for an added dollop of karma, the chief judge on the circuit where all the battles between the White House and Congress will play out is Merrick Garland.