Hero Obama Judge Will See Dumbass Trump Lawsuit Next Tuesday. No, Literally!
If you watched Rachel Maddow's TV program Thursday night, you saw that Donald Trump's plan to DELAY DELAY DELAY the inevitable disclosures of his financial records (probably crimes) and his taxes (probably some more crimes) mayyyyyyy have hit the tiniest of snags. As we all know, Trump's response to subpoenas sent to his accounting firm and his banks has been to SUE THE ACCOUNTING FIRM and SUE THE BANK, to prevent them from complying with lawful, "friendly" subpoenas from Congress. ("Friendly" subpoenas are the kind where you seem willing to comply with a request from Congress, but it's just better for all parties involved if Congress officially subpoenas it, so you can say to your clients, "We are so sorry, but Congress twisted our arm!") In the case of the subpoena sent to his accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, Trump also sued Elijah Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, who sent the subpoena, because sure why not.
As Wonkette's Five Dollar Feminist has explained, these Trump lawsuits are some LOL dumb shit, not least because they pretend we and the federal bench are all idiots who don't understand that Congress is supposed to be doing oversight of the Executive branch and has the inherent power to conduct investigations, a principle that's been affirmed by the Supreme Court multiple times. We know Trump has been packing the courts, but unfortunately for him, even rightwing judges have been to law school, and there are some legal arguments too stupid even for them. So in the case of "The Law Says You Have To Give Congress Your Taxes If They Ask" vs. "YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD," Trump is unlikely to prevail. (Yes, even at the Supreme Court!) But if the purpose of these suits is to DELAY DELAY DELAY, then Trump might have a shot at gumming up the gears and getting these things trapped in the court system until kingdom come.
Or maybe he doesn't! There's some funny news about the lawsuit he filed against Mazars, which might end up affecting what happens with the other dumb lawsuit Trump filed. The judge assigned to the case has decided to fast-track it, and it's all going to go down next Tuesday. UH OH PISKETTI-OH, Donald Trump, that was not your plan, was it?
A federal judge will fast-track a decision on President Trump's bid to quash a House subpoena for financial records from his accounting firm, saying he will decide the full case, not just whether to temporarily block the subpoena while the case proceeds, after a hearing Tuesday.
THE FULL CASE. As in, gonna blow right through the questions of temporary injunctions against the subpoena and all the other procedural stuff, get right to the merits of the case, and then Mehta is going to rule. See you next Tuesday, Donald!
U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta made his announcement Thursday in a brief notice to both sides after receiving a first round of written arguments in the case. The lawsuit was brought April 22 by Trump and several of his businesses against House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Trump's accounting firm.
"The sole question before the court — Is the House Oversight Committee's issuance of a subpoena to Mazars USA LLP for financial records of President Donald Trump and various associated entities a valid exercise of legislative power? — is fully briefed, and the court can discern no benefit from an additional round of legal arguments," Mehta said.
Awwww, Mr. President, don't be sad! Your delay tactic worked for several really long days!
The Washington Post notes that this accelerated speed could mean the case could hit the appeals court this summer, and famous fancy lawyer Ted Boutrous remarks on just how remarkable this timeline is:
@marty_lederman @kpolantz @just_security @maggieNYT It’s a dramatic move to consolidate the merits with a prelimina… https://t.co/mv1FNcspM5— Ted Boutrous (@Ted Boutrous) 1557462079.0
Now, lest you are worried that the judge might just be totally convinced by Trump's tremendous new lawyers' BIGLY AWESOME arguments that Trump is god-emperor of America, and that Congress is not actually a co-equal branch of government, you should know that Mehta is an Obama appointee. And also an expert on hip-hop, according to CNN!
We feel the need to share you this, because it is funny:
The judge heard musician Robert Prunty's case alleging that several music and entertainment companies had infringed his copyright, including that rapper Common's song "Kingdom" stole from Prunty's song "Keys to the Kingdom." In a 2015 opinion, Mehta asserted that he was "capable of concluding as a matter of law, without the assistance of expert testimony, that the songs 'Keys to the Kingdom' and 'Kingdom' are not substantially similar."
"This court also does not consider itself an ordinary 'lay person' when it comes to hip-hop music and lyrics," Mehta added in a corresponding footnote. "The court has listened to hip hop for decades and considers among his favorite musical artists, perhaps a sign of his age, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake, and Eminem."
Anyway! Point being, this is not some Trump hack, so get ready for all the mean Trump tweets about OBAMA JUDGES and all that. Considering how his name is "Mehta," we might even get some good old fashioned racism from President Old Fashioned Racist.
As the Washington Post notes, Elijah Cummings subpoenaed accounting records from Mazars after Michael Cohen told Congress (with visual aids!) that Trump regularly does lie-frauds on his financial statements, inflating and deflating his assets depending on which is personally beneficial for him at the time. Of course, Cohen is in prison now, partially for lying to Congress, so though he has no reason to lie anymore (and he brought visual aids), Cummings clearly wants to dot his T's and cross his I's and make extra certain Trump committed all those crimes, by getting the documents right from Mazars. (It might be helpful to Mazars too!)
As Maddow noted last night, and as we noted above, this Mazars suit isn't the only dumb frivolous lawsuit out there. Trump filed suit to stop Capital One and Deutsche Bank from turning over his records (including taxes stuff!) to Congress. She referred to that lawsuit as the Mazar lawsuit's "twin" and said WATCH THIS SPACE to see if that lawsuit gets a-movin' really fast too.
And on top of that, we have Trump trying to assert executive privilege over every single thing that ever happened on Planet Earth, including and most especially the Mueller Report, which will end up in court, and there's House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal, who's about to most likely skip the bullshit and just sue the fuck out of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to get Treasury to turn over Trump's tax returns.
Everything is going to end up in court. And maybe a lot faster than Trump bargained for!
Watch your Rachel.
Courts Not Playing Along With Donald Trump's Slowdown Strategy | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com
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