One way or another, Congress will almost certain obtain President Trump’s financial records, “and Republican efforts to investigate the Christopher Steele dossier could be one reason why,” writes CNN’s Katelyn Polantz. Specifically, Democrats could find an unwitting helper in Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a Trump ally who successfully subpoenaed the bank records of Fusion GPS when he was chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The House Oversight, Intelligence, and Financial Services committees have subpoenaed Trump’s business and personal financial records from his accounting firm, Mazars USA, and lenders Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Like Fusion GPS, Trump has sued his banks and accountants to prevent them from releasing his records. Fusion GPS had to disclose who financed the Steele dossier after losing its fight in federal court, using some of the same arguments Trump’s lawyers are testing. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta has fast-tracked the accounting firm lawsuit, scheduling the first hearing for Tuesday.
“The difficulty that Trump faces is the same one that we faced,” Bill Taylor, Fusion GPS’s lawyer in the case, tells CNN. “There’s a heavy presumption in favor of the validity of a congressional subpoena.”
The House Ways and Means Committee has also legally requested Trump’s tax returns from the IRS, though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is fighting that, too. The New York Senate, now controlled by Democrats, approved legislation last week that specifically permits three congressional committees to view the state tax returns of anyone who files in New York, as Trump and many of his businesses did. The State Assembly has enough to support to pass the bill, too, though no vote is yet scheduled.
But the important fight might end up being in Mehta’s courtroom. “Arguably you could get a lot more information from the accounting firm than you could from the tax returns,” former federal tax prosecutor Kevin Sweeney tells CNN. “They’d keep the documentation they used to prepare that return.”
Read more: theweek.com