, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
TODAY A U.S. appeals court challenged President Trump’s attempt to stop Congress from subpoenaing records his accounting firm, warning of "stunning" implications if lawmakers cannot investigate presidential corruption or conflicts of interest. wapo.st/2Lhc28q
“When it comes to a president’s conflict of interest, there’s nothing Congress can do . . . to protect the people of the United States?” asked U.S. Appellate Judge Patricia A. Millett. The ramifications of such a finding would be “stunning,” Judge David S. Tatel added.
Trump private lawyer William Consovoy said Congress is not exercising its legislative and investigative powers but usurping the executive's law enforcement role: “When the speaker says, ‘I want to see the president in prison,’ we don’t have to look hard” for their’ true motive.
Consovoy calling it “naive” to deny what is “staring the court in its face.”
Any new laws Congress contemplates would unconstitutionally impede the president’s ability to carry out his unique role as chief executive, or impose added requirements to becoming president, he said.
And argued the House has also failed to make a “clear statement“ authorizing the oversight committee--chaired by U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.)-- to investigate the president.
But Tatel and Millett appeared to back the House request, issued after Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress that Trump intentionally inflated and deflated the value of his assets to banks and insurance companies for his benefit.
What if Saudi Arabia rented the entirety of Trump International Hotel in Washington for a year and agreed to pay any price?, House counsel Douglas Letter said. Congress and the American public “would want to know what money is coming in.”
“We need to know, is he under the influence of a foreign government, a foreign state or government. Why do things [his assets and debts] show up and disappear” in recent years, Letter said.
Tatel summed up:, “How could financial disclosure prevent the president from fulfilling his constitutional duties?... [Congress is] not subjecting the president to arbitrary and capricious review. This is just financial disclosure, which presidents for years have been doing."
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