Donald Trump‘s personal attorneys are pulling out all the stops to block anything related to Trump‘s finances from reaching the public eye. Attorneys William Consovoy and Stefan Passantino have urged both the U.S. Treasury Department and an accounting firm Trump used not to turn over any information related to Democrats’ oversight efforts.
Both letters read more like public relations efforts to paint Democrats’ requests as both biased and unfounded with a view to litigation down the road. Consovoy and Passantino, who also work for the Trump Organization, told the Treasury Department that the request from House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal for six years of Trump’s tax returns was “illegal.” And in their letter to accounting firm Mazars USA, from which the House Oversight Committee plans to subpoena 10 years of Trump’s records, the two attorneys claimed it was “no secret” Democrats were hoping to uncover “anything they can find to damage [Trump] politically.”
“[T]he House Oversight Committee is not a miniature Department of Justice, charged with investigating and prosecuting potential federal crimes,” they wrote to Mazars outside counsel Jerry Bernstein. “It is a legislative body, not ‘a law enforcement or trial agency,’ and the chairman’s attempt to assume for Congress the role of police, prosecutor, and judge is unconstitutional.”
House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings announced last week that he had prepared a “friendly” subpoena to Mazars after the firm indicated its willingness to turn over a decade of Trump’s financial records. But Trump’s attorneys indicated they were putting Mazars “on notice” about cooperating with Cummings, suggesting they might initiate legal action on the matter.
In both cases, Trump’s attorneys appear pretty desperate to prevent House Democrats from getting any information related to Trump’s finances, using everything from intimidating Mazars to providing the Treasury with a rationale to keep that financial information out of public view.