At war with Congress, fragile legal case could still help Trump



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WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump may be speaking of victory, but his lawyers are using a legal argument that many experts say is a definite loser as his team tries to defy congressional attempts to investigate him. However, they risk delaying investigations with their arguments, which could be a victory in itself.

In the courts of New York and Washington, Trump tries to push back Congressional summonses to get financial statements from the accountants and banks Trump and his family do business with. His argument is that congressional Democrats are looking for him and that they have no "legitimate legislative purpose" in searching for his personal archives.

Congressional inquiries are only legitimate if there is a law that could flow from them, say the lawsuits in identical terms. "There is no possible legislation at the end of this tunnel," say both sides.

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US President Donald Trump applauds as he leaves the country after speaking at a Make America Great Again rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (The photo credit should read as follows: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)

Scott Walker, the former governor of Wisconsin, at the center, is nodding at a rally with US President Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, on Wednesday. Saturday, April 27, 2019. Trump announced Saturday his campaign speech to voters in the key region of Rust Belt. States touting the US economy, saying it's working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries, and making fun of its Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., son of US President Donald Trump and executive vice president of development and acquisitions at Trump Organization Inc., distributes hats to the crowd before rallying with US President Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the United States, Saturday, April 27, 2019. As its 2020 campaign gets underway, President Donald Trump focuses very early on the three Rust Belt states that sent him to the White House after the Republicans lost their mid-term elections, revealing that their support was erasing in the region. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, UNITED STATES – 2019/04/27: A member of ANR and a Trump supporter wearing a MAGA hat watches a shotgun on the third day of the National Rifle Association convention. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Participants hold placards at a rally with US President Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin State, United States, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Trump announced Saturday evening his speech in front of voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, declaring he works to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and makes fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump beckons at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin State, United States, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his pitch to voters in the main Rust Belt states in praising the US economy, claiming that he was working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Participants hold placards at a rally with US President Donald Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin State, United States, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Trump announced Saturday evening his speech in front of voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, declaring he works to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and makes fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President of the United States, Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States, Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his argument to voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, claiming that he was working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump attends a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States, on Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his argument to voters in the main Rust Belt states in the United States. touting the US economy, claiming that he was working was preventing jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President of the United States, Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States, Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his argument to voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, claiming that he was working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President of the United States, Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States, Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his argument to voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, claiming that he was working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., son of US President Donald Trump and executive vice president of development and acquisitions at Trump Organization Inc., speaks at a rally with President Trump in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the United States on Saturday, April 27, 2019. President Trump on Saturday evening clarified his campaign speech to voters in the major states of Rust Belt by touting the US economy, saying he was working to prevent the jobs to move to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

President of the United States, Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States, Saturday, April 27, 2019. On Saturday evening, Trump presented his argument to voters of the major states of Rust Belt touting the US economy, claiming that he was working to prevent jobs from moving to neighboring countries and making fun of his Democratic opponents. Photographer: Lauren Justice / Bloomberg via Getty Images

US President Donald Trump beckons at a "Make America Great Again" rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo Credit should read as follows : SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump applauds at a "Make America Great Again" rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should to read as follows: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Supporters listen to US President Donald Trump to speak at a Make America Great Again rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Credit picture should read as follows: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, leaves the scene after speaking at a "Make America Great Again" rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on April 27, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (The photo credit should read as follows: SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images)




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Until now, a federal judge in Washington has not seemed impressed by Trump's attempt to prevent Mazars USA, an accountant for President and Trump organization, from handing over to Congress subpoenas to appear. US District Judge Amit Mehta held a hearing in the case and was able to rule at any time at Trump's request.

In addition, a hearing is scheduled Wednesday in federal court in New York in the context of a lawsuit against Trump. His company and his family filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent them from complying with House Financial Services' subpoenas and bank and financial services billboards. recordings.

The court's argument is part of a broader White House strategy aimed at resisting any congressional oversight as a result of Special Advocate Robert Mueller's investigation. "Congressional investigations are aimed at obtaining information to assess potential legislation, not to harass political opponents," White House lawyer Pat Cipollone wrote Wednesday.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that he would not bow to a subpoena to Congress during the six years of Trump's tax return. He invoked the absence of a "legitimate legislative objective".

The approach of the White House finds little support among scholars who claim that congressional authority with regard to investigation is wide and that in the last century, the Supreme Court has Never found a problem with a congressional investigation for lack of legislative purpose. A report published in 2017 by the Congressional Policy Research Group revealed that "courts today generally assume that investigations have a legislative purpose."

Charles Tiefer, a congressional lawyer for 15 years, said the lawyers had stopped presenting the kind of argument advanced by Trump's lawyers. Tiefer, today a professor at the law faculty of the University of Baltimore, described the argument as "one of those medieval notions that are not taken very seriously now" .

But even if the judges in both cases rule against Trump, he will not let himself go without a battle that could take months, if not years, in appeals. Ohio State Law Professor Peter M. Shane, who studies the separation of powers, described him as Trump's attorneys "seeking to undo the time remaining until the end." In the election ".

"Why should this misleading argument be different from any other misleading argument?" Shane added, "The reason they do not develop stronger arguments is because they do not have more powerful arguments".

Other legal disputes over congressional attempts to obtain unedited copies of Mueller's report and to bring evidence from government officials could also be suspended in court long enough to end up in the next presidential administration, that it is the second term of Trump or that of his successor. Deadlocks passed between Congress and the executive power that resulted in lawsuits that lasted for years.

Trump's supporters say his legal arguments are genuine and must be taken seriously. They reprimand Congress for what they see as politically motivated investigations. Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation think tank compared the actions of House Democrats to the hearings of the infamous House Non-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, which targeted people suspected of being members of the House of Commons. Communists.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court had recognized the limits of the congressional power of inquiry. The High Court ruled in a 1957 case that the Congress "does not have the constitutional power to expose for reasons of exposure," von Spakovsky said. The Watkins case c. US, was a criminal appeal in which the judges overturned a conviction of union organizer John Watkins for refusing to identify members of the Communist Party to legislators.

Elaine Kamarck, a researcher at the liberal Brookings Institution who worked at the White House Clinton, said that assignments to the Trump House of Banks and Trump Accountants were far removed from McCarthy's communist hunt for the time.

Congress "seeks information from a private party about the President of the United States and about the possibility of a form of conflict of interest, to put it mildly, or of corruption" said Kamarck.

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