“Unconstitutional” – Team Trump leaves Elijah Cummings empty-handed

Trump and Cummings

President Donald Trump’s lawyers warned the U.S. Treasury on Monday that Democratic lawmakers are pursuing “unchecked congressional power” by requesting Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service.

And two of Trump lawyers also warned the firm of Trump’s longtime accountant not to comply with the House Oversight Committee’s demand for documents.

The House committee is asking for tax return information for Trump, as well as for a variety of LLCs and Trusts that formed a basis for his business enterprises. The firm indicated it would comply and sought a “friendly” subpoena from the Committee. But they then got a stern warning from Trump’s representatives.

On Monday, Politico reported that Trump lawyer William Consovoy and fellow Trump attorney Stefan Passantino warned accounting firm Mazars USA against complying with an expected subpoena from another House panel, the Oversight and Reform Committee. The Oversight Committee in March had written to Mazars USA requesting documents related to services provided by the firm.

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings was expected to issue the subpoena later on Monday seeking a decade’s worth of Trump’s financial records, according to Politico.

“It is no secret that the Democrat Party has decided to use its new House majority to launch a flood of investigations into the president’s personal affairs in hopes of using anything they can find to damage him politically,” Passantino wrote Jerry Bernstein, outside counsel for Mazars.

The legal pair put the firm “on notice,” pending potential litigation over the issue, and wrote that Oversight “is not a miniature Department of Justice, charged with investigating and prosecuting potential federal crimes. It is a legislative body, not ‘a law enforcement or trial agency,’ and the chairman’s attempt to assume for Congress the role of police, prosecutor, and judge is unconstitutional.”

In a letter to Treasury General Counsel Brent McIntosh, Consovoy accused the chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, of inventing a legislative justification for the request while pursuing political aims. 

Consovoy’s letter set a final April 23 deadline for the IRS to turn over six years of Trump’s individual and business tax returns.

Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 and continues to do so as president, saying his tax returns are under IRS audit. The IRS, which is overseen by the Treasury Department, has said that Trump could release his returns even while under audit.

Credit: Daily Mail