Judge Neomi Rao, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, dissented from her colleagues when she ruled that the president's accounting firm should not have to comply with a subpoena of his financial records.
In a case involving a Congressional Oversight Committee subpoena of the president's financial records, the court's majority affirmed a lower court ruling that denied Trump attorneys' request for a permanent injunction against a the subpoena.
Judge Rao, however, wrote a dissenting opinion that Slate legal writer Mark Joseph Stern is describing as "deeply embarrassing," as he believes it shows the entire goal of her ruling is to protect the president.
"The thrust of Rao's dissent is that the House has to invoke its *impeachment power* to investigate the president," Stern writes on Twitter. "It cannot investigate him pursuant to its legislative authority. Which is just not true! Congress passes legislation governing the executive branch all the time!"
He then goes on to argue that the ramifications of Rao's ruling would be to essentially render presidents almost completely unaccountable to any authority.
"If taken seriously, Rao's argument would insulate the president from congressional investigations into his illegal conduct *unless* (1) the House invoked impeachment and (2) the courts found the allegations to be within 'the scope of impeachable offenses,'" he writes. "What?!"
Read the whole thread below.
The thrust of Rao's dissent is that the House has to invoke its *impeachment power* to investigate the president. I… https://t.co/qElp1CRbXc— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1570804549.0
Rao writes: "the legislative power cannot target whether the President violated the law." What? The House has alrea… https://t.co/RKwsVaxf7G— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1570805074.0
If taken seriously, Rao's argument would insulate the president from congressional investigations into his illegal… https://t.co/7mYoKBhWpi— Mark Joseph Stern (@Mark Joseph Stern)1570805507.0