WASHINGTON D.C., Aug 12, 2021, Business Insider. House Democrats investigating former President Donald Trump scored a partial win on Wednesday when a federal judge granted the group access to his personal financial records from 2017 and 2018, according to The Washington Post, Business Insider reported.
Democrats were seeking the documents, they said, in order to draft legislation that would fix “glaring weaknesses in current ethics legislation” that they argued were brought to light during Trump’s presidency. The legislators had requested the former president’s records from 2011 to 2018.
US District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta of Washington, DC, rejected the argument, ruling that Trump’s finances were not necessary for lawmakers to write legislation focused on stronger disclosure.
“The more Congress can invade the personal sphere of a former President, the greater the leverage Congress would have on a sitting President,” Mehta wrote.
But, the judge did grant Congress access to the former president’s records from 2017 and 2018 as part of its role in looking into Trump’s foreign business interests while he was in office.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Trump’s accountants could appeal the ruling.
A statement from the House Oversight Committee said in part:
“Today’s district court ruling confirmed that the Oversight Committee had ‘facially valid legislative purposes’ in seeking these documents, including addressing ‘presidential ethics and conflicts of interest, presidential financial disclosures, and presidential adherence to Constitutional safeguards against foreign interference and undue influence.’ The court ruled that the Committee was entitled to receive financial information covered by the subpoena related to former President Trump, the Trump Organization, and the Trump Old Post Office Hotel, as well as a broader set of financial information sought by the Committee for the years 2017 and 2018.”
The lawsuit is one of many legal investigations into Trump’s finances.