On Monday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow dug into the lawsuit President Donald Trump filed in his personal capacity against House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to block public scrutiny of his personal finances. Her short explanation: the lawsuit is going to do nothing except let his lawyers buy nice things for their families.
"The law here ever since 1975, reaffirmed over and over again since then, is that even when Congress is terrible, even in the worst case scenario when Congress is being a bunch of freaking jerks, even when Congress plainly is issuing subpoenas in what is obviously terrible bad faith, even when they are at rock bottom in terms of their credibility and what they're trying to do, they have absolute authority to do what they want to do," said Maddow. "The courts may or may not like why a particular committee or subcommittee in Congress is seeking some kind of information. But they're Congress. They are a coequal branch of government. They get to decide what they want to look into."
"And that clear precedent, that clear and unequivocal precedent, means that our president today did something desperate, that is, destined to fail and fail quickly, when the president today decided he was going to bring a personal lawsuit against Congress," said Maddow.
"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," Maddow continued. "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."
"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," Maddow said. "I'm not a lawyer. Don't hire me for anything. But 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," Maddow concluded.