Donald Trump sued Congress on Monday to block a congressional subpoena for his financial records – yet another move by this president that totally screams innocence.
Rachel Maddow was quick to demolish Trump’s move, explaining why it is almost certain to be a failure and appears only to be an effort by the White House to stall.
“What Congress investigates is up for Congress to decide, and how Congress subpoenas information is Congress’ decision,” the MSNBC host said. “This lawsuit appears on track to fail and without much suspense.”
Maddow added, “This lawsuit may be an effort by the president to slow things down, but it’s certainly not going to stop what Congress is doing.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) April 23, 2019
What Congress investigates is up for Congress to decide, and how Congress subpoenas information is Congress’ decision. And that clear precedent, that clear and unequivocal precedent means that our president now, today, did something desperate, that is destined to fail and fail quickly, when the president today decided that he was going to bring a personal lawsuit against Congress. President Trump in his personal capacity today sued Congress, sued the oversight committee in the House for them having the temerity to issue a subpoena for his financial records from an accounting firm that spent a lot of years doing various financial work for him including preparing his taxes. Even if it were a super far-fetched investigation that they were pursuing, what the case law in this area tells us is that the courts would still stay out of it. But in this case, it’s not that far-fetched. I mean, the president’s longtime personal lawyer just testified to Congress under oath that President Trump committed multiple financial felonies, and he pointed them to the documents that would show evidence of that. Kind of seems like there might be a really good reason for Congress to see those records. … But as much as I’m sure the president’s lawyers are enjoying the billable hours here, this lawsuit appears on track to fail and without much suspense. This is an area of the law where there just isn’t that much gray. I’m not a lawyer. Don’t hire me for anything. Once the president did this today, we spoke with a number of people today who are lawyers, including experts in the field, and they told us this is not an area of law where there is wiggle room. This lawsuit may be an effort by the president to slow things down but it’s certainly not going to stop what Congress is doing.
Trump is a guilty man just trying to buy time
First, Trump’s apparent belief that Congress can’t investigate him is just the latest demonstration of how little he understands the laws of the country he’s leading.
As David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post pointed out on Monday, Trump wrongly cited a Supreme Court decision from 1880 as the basis for his claim that he’s essentially above Congress’ authority to investigate him.
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 22, 2019
Secondly – and how times do we have to repeat this? – Trump is clearly behaving like a man with a lot of dirt he wants to keep buried.
Innocent men don’t openly say they are screwed once they’re under investigation, as Trump did when Robert Mueller was appointed to lead the Russia inquiry.
Innocent men don’t work day and night to undermine that investigation, as Trump did time and again during the special counsel probe, which Mueller laid out in his report.
And, of course, innocent men don’t fight tooth and nail to have their entire financial history kept secret.
Trump is behaving like a guilty man who is just trying to buy time. In the end, his efforts to hide his finances are doomed to fail.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.