Tribune News Service /Washington
The House cited 2020 election security concerns yesterday when it urged the Supreme Court not to delay the enforcement of congressional subpoenas for financial records of President Donald Trump and his business from Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial Corporation.
Any harm to Trump for allowing the enforcement of the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees would be less severe than Congress not getting information it needs to protect the elections from foreign influence, House attorneys argued in a Supreme Court filing.
The House said a delay in the subpoenas would deprive “the peoples’ representatives of information they need to secure the nation’s 2020 elections from foreign influence and otherwise exercise their constitutional responsibilities wisely before their time for doing so expires.”
The window for passage and implementation of legislative reforms to counter Russian efforts to sow social discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government “is rapidly closing,” the House filing states.
The House filing responds to Trump’s emergency request for the justices to halt an order from the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit for “prompt” compliance with the subpoenas, at least until the court can consider Trump’s appeal.
This is the third case with similar issues at the high court in the past few weeks.
The Supreme Court is likely to grant Trump’s request. The justices already granted Trump’s emergency request to put a hold on a lower court ruling ordering accounting firm Mazars USA to comply with a congressional subpoena for eight years of the president’s financial records.
If the justices agree to hear the Mazars case, the freeze would remain until they rule, likely before the end of the current court term at the end of June. But if the Supreme Court declines to hear the case, the House Oversight and Reform Committee could seek the documents as early as this month.
The Supreme Court scheduled a separate but closely related case – Trump’s challenge to a subpoena to Mazars in a Manhattan grand jury probe that is nearly identical to the congressional subpoena – for a closed-door conference tomorrow.
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