Trump is suing the House Oversight Committee as part of an attempt to hide his questionable financial dealings from Congress.
Trump filed suit Monday in federal court, naming House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings and Peter Kenny, the committee’s top lawyer, as defendants in the legal action.
The committee is currently trying to secure Trump’s financial records from the firm Mazars USA, Trump’s accountants. The records could verify sworn testimony from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that Trump has defrauded lenders and insurers by pretending to be wealthier than he is.
Mazars indicated that it would be willing to hand over the records, but asked for a subpoena in order to do so. The Oversight Committee issued that subpoena last week.
Trump doesn’t want the public to know the details of his finances, and has continued to hide his tax returns from America. The lawsuit is the latest weapon deployed as part of his secrecy campaign.
The complaint reads more like a press release from the White House than an official court filing. It repeatedly complains about the “Democrat party,” instead of the correct term, “Democratic Party.” It also uses scare quotes around the phrase “news report” to smear reporting by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and the Washington Post, both of which Trump has frequently attacked as “fake news.”
The lawsuit also claims that the Oversight Committee has no authority of oversight because “investigations are legitimate only insofar as they further some legitimate legislative purpose.”
Of course, Congress has conducted plenty of investigations — such as Watergate, Whitewater, Benghazi, and Iran-Contra — that had no connection to legislation. That Congress has no authority to exercise oversight of the executive branch is a nonsensical claim.
Congress has had to take extraordinary actions to uncover Trump’s finances because, unlike every presidential nominee of both parties over the last four decades, he won’t tell the truth about his financial background.
Americans have no idea how much Trump is truly worth, to whom he is in debt, what laws he may have broken or failed to comply with in the past, or how he may have evaded paying taxes.
There are a whole host of financial details that were widely known about previous Democratic and Republican presidents that are unknown about Trump, and because of that it is unclear how those financial entanglements have affected his presidential decision making.
The world has no idea which of Trump’s wrongheaded decisions may have been made because he owes debts, is paying off past favors, or continues to hide legally dubious transactions.
When Republicans ran the House, they refused to investigate these issues despite the alarming possibility that Trump’s presidency could be compromised due to corruption or national security breaches. Since Democrats took control of the House, however, leaders like Cummings have taken on the task of finding out the truth.
With this legal filing, Trump is once again acting like a guilty man instead of one who has nothing to hide.
Published with permission of The American Independent.
Image: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, REUTERS/Gary Cameron