, 12 tweets, 6 min read
NOW: The DC Circuit has affirmed a lower court order rejecting Trump's legal challenge to House Dems' subpoena seeking financial records from Trump's accounting firm — waiting on the full opinion, here's the one-page summary
BREAKING: The DC Circuit ruled Trump's accounting firm must comply with Democrats' subpoena for records about the president and his businesses.

"...the Committee possesses authority under both the House Rules and the Constitution to issue the subpoena..."
The Mazars subpoena fight predates Pelosi's September announcement of an impeachment inquiry — the case was about whether the House Oversight subpoena served a valid "legislative purpose," and the DC Circuit found that it did buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/cou…
That being said, Pelosi made clear that the impeachment inquiry would cover committee investigations into Trump that were already underway, including House Oversight, so this case takes on greater significance in that context buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
The DC Circuit made clear what this case is *not* about: It's not about whether Congress can directly subpoena a sitting president outside impeachment (the subpoena was for a third party, Mazars), or about executive privilege (which Trump didn't assert) buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Judge Neomi Rao dissented, writing that if Congress was investigating illegal conduct by an impeachable official (in this case, the president), there had to be a formal impeachment process — it couldn't be done through Congress' legislative power buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
This is where the timing of this particular subpoena fight matters — even though Dems' impeachment inquiry now encompasses all of the ongoing committee probes, the subpoena at issue here predates Pelosi's impeachment announcement buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
In the majority opinion, Judge Tatel responds to Rao and says she's trying to move the "goalposts" — that she's advocating for a new test that would "enfeeble" Congress and that has no support in the Constitution buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
The gist of this disagreement between the DC Circuit majority and Rao:
- Rao: If Congress is probing possible criminal activity by an impeachable official, it must be via impeachment
- Majority: Nope, it can be part of Congress' regular legislative powers buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
And this is why it's not immediately clear how this ruling would apply to subpoena fights that come up now, *after* Dems officially announced an impeachment inquiry. But it's a strong rebuke of Trump's effort to limit Congress' power to investigate him buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
So what now? Trump could ask the full DC Circuit to rehear the case, or he could try to go straight to SCOTUS and ask the justices to take up the matter. We're also still waiting for the 2nd Circuit to rule on another subpoena fight re: Trump's records buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Meanwhile, liberal groups that opposed Judge Rao's nomination are denouncing her dissent today as proof that their fears she would push for an expansion of executive power were founded — here's @NanAron of @AFJustice: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
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