House Can Have Access to Some of Donald Trump's Financial Records, Judge Rules

A judge ruled Wednesday that House Democrats who have spent years investigating Donald Trump can access some of the former president's financial records.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta's ruling is the latest win for Democrats in the years-long legal and political battles waged to access Trump's finances. But it is likely not the last opinion and is expected to receive appeals.

There remains a conflict over a demand from Democrats on the House Oversight an Reform Committee, which in 2019 and last February subpoenaed Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, for the records.

Mehta said in his ruling that while he turned aside Trump's challenge to to the subpoena and allowed the committee's demand for records to "proceed without qualification," the U.S. Supreme Court opinion from 2020 ordered new analysis favoring limited access to the records than what lawmakers requested.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Tax Return Form
A judge ruled Wednesday that House Democrats can access some of the former President Donald Trump's financial records. A marcher in a group with a sign that say "What Are You Hiding?" on a sign made from a 1040 Tax Return and the Hammer and Sickle of the Russian Federation during the Woman's March in the borough of Manhattan, New York on January 19, 2019. Ira L. Black/Corbis/Getty Images

That opinion cited separation of power concerns in saying that while Congress has significant power to demand the president's personal information, it is not limitless.

Applying factors that the high court set out, Mehta wrote the House was entitled to some financial records from 2017 and 2018—when Trump was president.

Separately, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel said in an opinion last month the Treasury Department must provide the House Ways and Means Committee with Trump's tax returns.

That opinion said the committee chairman "has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President's tax information" and that under federal law, "Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee."

The committee's hunt for records overlaps with other records that have already been released to investigators. In 2020, for instance, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New York District Attorney Cy Vance in his demand for Trump's tax records, though the ruling kept the documents out of the public eye. Vance's office took possession of those records in February.

Trump Tax Ruling
House Democrats who have spent years investigating Donald Trump are entitled to some of the former president's financial records, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. In this July 11 file photo former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas. LM Otero, File/AP Photo