Chairwoman Maloney Issues Statement on Supreme Court Decision in Trump v. Mazars
Washington, D.C. (July 9, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, in which the President sought to block compliance by his longtime accountant, Mazars USA LLP, with the Committee’s duly authorized subpoena:
“Today’s Supreme Court opinions reaffirm a bedrock principle in our democracy: no one—not even the President—is above the law. For far too long, President Trump has shown utter contempt for this principle. He has refused to turn over documents to Congress with no legitimate legal basis, repeatedly blocked witnesses from testifying even when subpoenaed, attacked independent Inspectors General for doing their jobs, failed to cooperate with the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, publicly criticized independent judges for rulings he disliked, and pressured prosecutorial decision-making to benefit himself, his friends, and his allies.
“I am disappointed that the Court remanded our case to the lower court for a review under a new standard for subpoenas for Presidential papers, but I am confident our Committee ultimately will prevail. Our former Chairman Elijah Cummings issued the subpoena in the Mazars case more than a year ago, and the D.C. courts carefully considered many of these issues during this litigation, which has now lasted for 15 months, or nearly three-quarters of the 116th Congress. While Chairman Cummings would have lamented the harm to our democracy that the President caused with his delays, we will continue to fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution.”
At the beginning of the 116th Congress, the Oversight Committee launched several investigations of the President’s conflicts of interest, inadequate financial disclosures, and violations of the Emoluments Clauses in order to determine the adequacy of existing laws and perform related agency oversight.
On February 27, 2019, the President’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, testified before the Oversight Committee. He alleged that President Trump’s financial statements included false statements about his assets and liabilities and that President Trump “inflated his total assets when it served his purposes” but, at other times, “deflated his assets.”
As corroboration, Mr. Cohen produced portions of financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013—some of which were prepared by Mazars—which raised questions about President Trump’s representations on these forms and other financial disclosure documents, particularly relating to the President’s debts. Mr. Cohen also produced checks from President Trump and his business trust, some of which were signed after Trump became President, and Mr. Cohen testified that these payments were reimbursements of illegal hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign.
Based in part on this testimony and these documents, on March 20, 2019, Chairman Cummings sent a letter to Mazars seeking key financial documents relating to these and other allegations.
The Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to Mazars on April 15, 2019, seeking only four targeted categories of documents to help advance the Committee’s investigation.
On April 22, 2019, President Trump and his businesses filed a lawsuit in the D.C. District Court, seeking to prevent Mazars from complying with the Committee’s lawful subpoena.
On May 20, 2019, the District Court issued a decisive ruling vindicating the authority of the Oversight Committee to investigate issues concerning the President and his companies.
On October 11, 2019, the Circuit Court of District of Columbia upheld the District Court’s decision, again ruling in favor of the Committee’s subpoena.
After the full D.C. Circuit rejected their petition for en banc review, President Trump and his businesses petitioned for Supreme Court review. The Supreme Court granted the petition and consolidated the case with Trump v. Deutsche Bank et al., another case that involves congressional subpoenas for the President’s financial records.