Judges fast-track court fight over Trump financial records
An appeals court scheduled oral arguments for July 12 in the case, which pits the president’s attorneys against House Democrats.
05/23/2019 03:48 PM EDT
President Donald Trump’s fight to stop the release of his financial records is on the fast track for a key court decision after a three-judge appellate panel agreed Thursday to hear oral arguments later this summer.
In a two-page order, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ judges scheduled oral arguments for July 12 in the case that pits the president’s attorneys against House Democrats, who issued a subpoena to the accounting firm Mazars USA for eight years of Trump’s financial records.
The court date will come several weeks after a lower court rejected the president’s attempts to block the subpoena, arguing that the request was politically motivated. Trump’s lawyers immediately appealed the ruling, and the president called the opinion “ridiculous” and “totally wrong,” and noted Judge Amit Mehta was an appointee of President Barack Obama.
In the next round of legal sparring, Trump will go before a panel of judges that includes another Obama appointee, Patricia Millett, as well David Tatel, a Bill Clinton appointee, and Neomi Rao, who joined the D.C. Circuit in March as a Trump appointee.
Under the order approved Thursday, Trump’s first round of legal briefs spelling out its arguments are due June 10, followed by a response from lawyers for the House committee and Mazars by July 1. A final reply brief from the Trump attorneys is due July 9.
Democrats have said they will suspend the deadlines in their subpoena for production of the Trump financial documents while the president’s appeal works its way through the courts. Mazars, meantime, has said it will still keep working to collect and prepare the documents but won’t turn over any until the judges’ render an opinion.
House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) sent the subpoena to Mazars last month as part of the panel‘s investigation into whether Trump committed financial crimes before he became president.
The panel’s focus has been on trying to corroborate claims made by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who earlier this year gave the committee documents purporting to show Trump artificially inflated and deflated the value of his assets for his personal financial benefit.
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