Attorneys for Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to follow the rulings of lower federal courts and uphold the congressional subpoena issued to finance firm Mazars USA for President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
After a federal court last week ruled that Mazars had to comply with the subpoena, attorneys for President Trump filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court seeking to prevent the financial firm from turning over the financial documents.
According to the filing, Democrats are not simply concerned with obtaining Trump’s tax returns: they contend that any delay caused by further litigation could irreparably damage Congress’s ability to carry out its constitutional duty.
“Here, each day of delay harms Congress by depriving it of important information it needs to carry out its constitutional responsibilities. That harm outweighs any harm Applicants might suffer from Mazars’ compliance with the subpoena,” House attorneys Douglas N. Letter and Lawrence S. Robbins wrote.
The attorneys requested that the Court deny Trump’s application or hear the case on an expedited basis, invoking the current impeachment proceedings into Trump as additional support for their argument.
“The House’s rapidly advancing impeachment inquiry also makes it particularly important that Congress not be deprived of the information sought by the subpoena,” the filing said. “It matters little that the Committee did not originally seek the information in question pursuant to the House’s impeachment power. Now that the House is exercising its grave constitutional responsibilities under that power, it should be fully informed with all the information to which it is entitled—including information it had previously sought for legislative purposes.”
House lawyers additionally argued that due to the lack of conflict in the lower courts and the Committee’s urgent need to obtain the financial records, the Court should not grant review of the president’s case.
“Faithfully applying this Court’s precedents addressing Congressional subpoenas, two levels of the federal judiciary have upheld that subpoena as valid and enforceable. Each concluded that the Committee issued the subpoena in furtherance of a valid legislative purpose and that the subpoena seeks documents relevant to a subject about which Congress could enact legislation,” they said. “[Attorneys for President Trump] have not shown that this case warrants review by this Court or that there is a fair prospect of reversal of the judgment below.”
It’s not clear when the Court will issue a decision on the matter.
[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]