Attorneys representing President Donald Trump on Tuesday faced a tough grilling by a federal judge who expressed skepticism of their claims that Congress must have a legitimate “legislative purpose” in order to seek documents related to the president’s finances.
Politico reports that Amit Mehta, a district court judge in Washington D.C., indicated during a hearing that he would be very reluctant to declare a congressional subpoena of Trump’s finances unconstitutional based on Congress’ role in overseeing the executive branch as outlined in the Constitution.
Mehta was particularly skeptical of the Trump attorneys’ claims that Congress needed to show a legitimate legislative reason before it could subpoena documents related to the president’s finances.
“Does Congress have to do that — do they have to identify a bill in advance?” he asked at one point. “The Supreme Court has said the opposite.”
In particular, Mehta said that congressional investigations of former presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were not attached to any specific legislative purpose.
Mehta also shot down Trump lawyers’ objections to his decision to consolidate the legal procedural steps in an effort to speed up the case.
“We’re not going to drag this out,” he said, according to Law & Crimes.