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though he technically still can
May 20, 2019

President Trump's attempt to block a subpoena from House Democrats has been overruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled in Washington, D.C., on Monday that Trump could not block the House Oversight Committee's subpoena of his financial records from his accounting firm. Mehta also denied Trump's lawyers' request to stay the ruling, meaning the firm is now supposed to hand over eight years of Trump's records, Politico reports.

House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm last month as part of Democrats' ongoing attempts to access the president's financial records. He asked for the records first, but officially subpoenaed them after Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen testified that the president had inflated his wealth on past financial statements. Trump quickly sued Cummings in return.

Trump's lawyers argued that Congress was improperly requesting Trump's records for "a law-enforcement purpose" rather than "to work on legislation." Yet in the process, those lawyers implied the Whitewater and Watergate investigations were invalid, leaving Mehta visibly skeptical.

In his Monday ruling, Mehta said "it is not for the court to question whether the committee's actions are truly motivated by political considerations" and ruled in the committee's favor. Trump's lawyers are expected to appeal the decision immediately, setting it up for a decision in the D.C. appellate court.

In another subpoena-blocking move, Trump also sued a few banks to stop them from handing over his financial records as well. That suit is still ongoing in a Manhattan court. Kathryn Krawczyk

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