President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a case that could lead to the release of his financial records to House Democrats.
Trumps lawyers said in a Dec. 4 petition to the court, filed ahead of a Dec. 5 deadline, that if the nations highest court allows a lower court ruling to stand, it would set a dangerous precedent for future presidents.
“Under the D.C. Circuits decision, Congress can subpoena any private records it wishes from the President on the mere assertion that it is considering legislation that might require presidents to disclose that same information,” they wrote.
Trumps legal team argued that Congress doesnt have to constitutional authority to get the private financial records because the subpoena lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.
They said in the 304-page filing that the case involves a number of firsts, including the first time that Congress has subpoenaed personal records of a sitting President.
“The Committees investigation of the President lacks a legitimate legislative purpose. It is a law-enforcement investigation about uncovering whether the President engaged in wrongdoing. Nor can the investigation result in valid legislation. The Constitution—not Congress—created the Office of the President. Congress, accordingly, cannot require the President to disclose his finances or otherwise expand or alter the offices qualifications,” they wrote.
“Yet the D.C. Circuit never should have reached these issues because the Committee lacks express statutory authorization to subpoena the President. An express statement should be required given the separation-of-powers issues that are raised by unleashing every committee to subpoena every president for his personal records.”
The case revolves around Mazars USA, Trumps accounting firm. The House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena attempting to obtain eight years of the presidents past financial information from the firm, claiming they needed to see the documents to help determine if any updates were needed to the laws governing ethics in government and to see if any information conflicted with testimony from Trumps former lawyer, Michael Cohen.