United States District Court Judge Amit Mehta endorsed Congress’ broad authority to investigate the President Donald Trump about his finances. Trump’s lawyers had argued that Congress’ subpoena did not have a legitimate legislative purpose and was therefore invalid. However, Judge Mehta held another more constructive view.
President Trump rejected the judgment calling it crazy and “a wrong decision by an Obama-appointed judge.” He vowed to appeal it.
Writing in a 41-page memorandum, Mehta opined that while “there are limits on congress’s investigative authority, those limits do not substantially constrain congress.” Trump’s lawyers had sued in Washington, D.C. Federal Court asking that the subpoena be blocked declaring the Democrats had “declared all-out political war” against Trump. Mehta held “So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which legislation could be had, Congress is acting within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. President Trump cannot block the subpoena to Mazars.” Mazars handle President Trump’s finances.
Mehta further wrote, “These are facially valid legislative purposes and it is not for the court to question whether the Committee’s actions are truly motivated by political considerations.”
The Democratic-led Committee argued the subpoena is necessary in order to reinforce ethics and disclosure laws and curtail violation of emoluments clause.
Trump’s legal team argued that the Democrat’s actions fell way beyond the Congress’ legitimate oversight functions as a legislative body. However, Mehta countered this argument suggesting in such case many historic congressional investigations, including Watergate, might be considered invalid.
Judge Mehta’s arguments found favor in many quarters within the United States statutory dignitaries. House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings hailed the decision as a “resounding victory for the rule of law.” He added, “”The Court recognized the basic but crucial fact that Congress has authority to conduct investigations as part of our core function under the Constitution.”