Cummings Issues Statement on Ruling That Mazars Must Comply with Oversight Committee Subpoena for Trump’s Records
Washington, D.C. (Oct. 11, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement in response to an appeals court ruling that Mazars USA LLP, the accounting firm that prepared financial statements for President Trump, must comply with the Oversight Committee’s subpoena for the President’s financial records:
“Today’s ruling is a fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law. For far too long, the President has placed his personal interests over the interests of the American people. After months of delay, it is time for the President to stop blocking Mazars from complying with the Committee’s lawful subpoena. We must fulfill our stated legislative and oversight objectives and permit the American people to obtain answers about some of the deeply troubling questions regarding the President’s adherence to Constitutional and statutory requirements to avoid conflicts of interest.”
On March 20, 2019, Chairman Cummings sent a letter to Mazars seeking documents relating to the Committee’s investigation into allegations that the President inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes.
The allegations were supported by corroborating documents produced to the Committee by the President’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
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.
In today’s appellate court decision, the court again ruled in favor of Committee’s subpoena, finding:
- “Contrary to the President’s arguments, the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena, and Mazars must comply.”
- “The fact that the subpoena in this case seeks information that concerns the President of the United States adds a twist, but not a surprising one: disputes between Congress and the President are a recurring plot in our national story. And that is precisely what the Framers intended.”
- “Congress’s decision whether, and if so how, to legislate in a particular area will necessarily depend on what information it discovers in the course of an investigation, and its preferred path forward may shift as members educate themselves on the relevant facts and circumstances.”
- “Following that course, we conclude that the public record reveals legitimate legislative pursuits, not an impermissible law-enforcement purpose, behind the Committee’s subpoena.”
- “Simply put, an interest in past illegality can be wholly consistent with an intent to enact remedial legislation.”
- “Having considered the weighty interests at stake in this case, we conclude that the subpoena issued by the Committee to Mazars is valid and enforceable.”