A federal judge on Wednesday narrowed a House subpoena for former President Trump’s personal financial records, ruling that the congressional inquiry was overly intrusive but may proceed with a more limited scope.
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta upheld the subpoena to the extent that it sought information about Trump’s lease with the General Services Administration (GSA) for his D.C. hotel property and whether he violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses.
He ordered Trump’s accounting firm Mazars to hand over two years’ worth of tax and financial records for the former president and his business to Congress.
But Mehta, who was appointed by former President Obama to federal district court in D.C., threw out the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s effort to obtain a broad swath of Trump’s personal financial records, saying that the lawmakers’ rationale of seeking to bolster presidential disclosure laws does not justify the constitutional concerns posed by the subpoena.
“Such limited legislative need cannot justify the degree to which the Maloney Subpoena imposes on the separation of powers, even in the case of a former President,” Mehta wrote.
The judge added, “The more Congress can invade the personal sphere of a former President, the greater the leverage Congress would have on a sitting President.”
The decision can be appealed by either party.