Key Democrat says he’ll subpoena Trump records from accounting firm
By Billy House and Shahien Nasiripour
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said he’ll subpoena documents on Monday from an accounting firm tied to President Donald Trump.
“The committee has full authority to investigate whether the president may have engaged in illegal conduct before and during his tenure in office,” Cummings said in a memo Friday to committee members along with a copy of the subpoena to Mazars USA LLP.
While Attorney General William Barr plans to make public this week a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings from his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the move by Cummings underscored House Democrats are intent on pursuing other questions about the president and his business dealings.
Cummings said in the memo that his inquiry includes whether the president “has undisclosed conflicts that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions, to assess whether he is complying with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, and to review whether he accurately reported his finances to the Office of Government Ethics and other financial entities.”
Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the Oversight panel’s top Republican, said in a statement Friday that “Chairman Cummings’s announcement of a subpoena to a private company to pry into the president’s personal finances is an astonishing abuse of this committee’s authority and a disgraceful departure from the fair and legitimate oversight he promised to the American people just 73 days ago.”
Jennifer Farrington, chief marketing officer for Manhattan-based Mazars USA, said in a statement that “as a matter of firm policy and professional rules we do not comment on the work we conduct for our clients. Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.”
In a March 27 letter to Cummings, a lawyer for the accounting firm, Jerry Bernstein of Blank Rome LLP, cited laws and industry rules that could enable the firm to produce the documents if they were demanded through a subpoena.
The subpoena to be sent to Mazars seeks records from Trump, the Trump Revocable Trust, the Trump Organization LLC, the Trump Corporation, DJT Holdings LLC, the Trump Old Post Office LLC, the Trump Foundation, and any parent, subsidiary, affiliate, joint venture, predecessor or successor.
It gives the accounting firm until noon on April 29 to produce the material. Cummings previously had asked Mazars to turn over the material voluntarily to determine “the accuracy” of Trump financial filings prepared by that company.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service missed a Wednesday deadline set by the House Ways and Means Committee to turn over six years of Trump’s past tax returns. Treasury Security Steven Mnuchin wrote that he needed more time to consult with the Department of Justice.