Judge OKs House Oversight Subpoena of Trump Finances

President Donald Trump talks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(CN) – A federal judge in Washington approved a congressional subpoena of President Donald Trump’s financial records Monday, rejecting Trump’s claims the demand is an invasion of privacy.

In a 41-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta gave Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA seven days to release the records.

“Indulging in the presumption that when Congress acts it does so for a proper reason, the court cannot say that the records sought from Mazars are ‘unrelated to a valid legislative purpose’ or that the ‘predominant result can only be an invasion of’ the president’s private affairs,” Mehta wrote.

Trump filed his challenge after the House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena to accounting firm Mazars USA in April, demanding Trump’s personal financial records dating back to 2011 – long before Trump had declared his candidacy for president.

The request came after the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told the committee Trump routinely inflated or deflated the value of his assets and liabilities on his financial statements, in some cases to obtain bank loans.

Cohen directly named the Mazars firm during his testimony.

Trump argued the subpoena served no legislative purpose and was issued by House Democrats, who control the committee, purely for political gain. He had asked Mehta to declare the subpoena invalid and unenforceable.

Attorneys for the committee argued the records would help Congress strengthen ethics and disclosure laws and help the committee ensure the president did not violate the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings, D-Md, took to Twitter on Monday to praise the judgment.

“Today’s decision is a resounding victory for the rule of law and our constitutional system of checks and balances,” Cummings tweeted. “The court recognized the basic but crucial fact that Congress has authority to conduct investigations as part of our core function under the Constitution.”

Attorneys for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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