Donate

Last Monday, DC District Court Judge Amit Mehta kicked Trump's ass and told him to STFU with those made-up legal theories about why it is ILLEGAL for Congress to investigate the president's financials. Trump's longtime accountants at Mazars, LLP could hand over Trump's records immediately, and the court was not going to impose a stay. Then, on Wednesday, Judge Edgardo Ramos in the Southern District of New York agreed that Donald Trump doesn't get to psychoanalyze Congress's reasons for conducting oversight and block it if their motives are "impure." Because no, that is not how Congress goes, asshole. No stay was issued in New York either, and Deutsche Bank was ordered to begin handing over Trump's data immediately.

SO, WE CAN HAZ DOCUMENTS? Well, no, we're not getting Trump's docs yet. Sorry. But before we all launch into another dozen choruses of DEMS ARE JUST SOFT, perhaps a little lawsplainer on what happened here might come in handy.


The losing party -- that would be Loser McLoserman Donald J. Trump -- has the right to ask for emergency stays of Judge Mehta's ruling from the DC Circuit and of Judge Ramos's ruling from the Second Circuit. He could also ask for a stay from the Supreme Court, and Trump is extremely fond of muddying the waters by asking SCOTUS to jump in before the appellate courts have had a chance to rule. If one of these courts agreed to stop the clock to litigate the propriety of a stay, it would likely delay the inevitable appeal on the issues themselves. That is, we could be forced to argue about the issue of the emergency stay, and then argue at some later date about whether Congress is entitled to subpoena the documents at all. God only knows how long that might take, hence ... the compromise.

In both the Mazars and Deutsche Bank cases, all parties have agreed to skip the intermediate "stay round" and go directly to an appeal on the issue of congressional oversight. Lawyers for House Democrats agreed to give up their right to demand documents immediately if the courts agreed to an expedited hearing schedule on their right to see them at all, and the DC Circuit obliged by setting a date for the Mazars hearing on July 12. Trump agreed to give up the potential delay of a couple months it might get from a stay motion in exchange for a promise that Congress wouldn't seek to get the documents immediately. Take it from Steve Vladeck -- this really does make sense.

Yes, it would be entirely satisfying if Deutsche Bank and Mazars just dropped the documents in House Democrats' laps immediately. But ... first of all, there's always the chance that Trump could get some court to issue an injunction, simultaneously depriving Congress of the information and taking the pressure off the appeals court to rule quickly. (And if one court issued an injunction, the existence of a "circuit split" between the courts might give SCOTUS pretext to intervene to stop both cases when there is really no issue of law.) Second of all, this shit is not going away. Trump has made it clear he's going to defy all congressional subpoenas, and we need a final ruling on the merits to clarify that his argument -- that CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT IS ILLEGAL -- is bullshit. Third of all, literally everyone here knows Trump is going to lose -- the issue is when, not if.

Okay, maybe Trump thinks he's going to win because of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. But he's an idiot, so don't go by him. The very best SCOTUS could do for Trump is to issue a stay pending an appeal on the merits and let him drag this out through the election, which House Democrats just avoided by getting Trump to agree not to ask for one right now. (Yes, Trump will inevitably ask for another emergency stay from SCOTUS after the Second and DC Circuits have ruled. But he would have done that anyway, even if he hadn't agreed to forego the "stay round" in the Districts.)

Get it? This is a calculated decision to give up a small chance of getting the documents now to avoid a big risk that Congress won't get them at all before the election. Agree or disagree with the math, but don't say this is Democrats being too chickenshit to take on Trump. Because that ain't it, chief.

Besides which, once Cuomo signs that New York law, Congress is going to get Trump's New York state returns almost immediately. That train has already left the station.

[WaPo]

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

You liking these lawsplainers? Please click here to keep 'em coming!

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)


Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

$
Donate with CC
It started with them damn hats. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.

Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.

This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC

One day, God willing, my grandchildren will click open their history textbooks and read about the Central American migrant internment camps. They'll learn about sick kids, locked in cages, kept hungry and dirty and cold for weeks on end, and they'll be horrified.

"Bubbie," they'll say, "how could this happen in America? How could there be toddlers sleeping on the ground without blankets, without soap or toothbrushes to clean themselves?"

"I don't know. I wish I had done more. I'm ashamed," I'll say. We will all have to answer for this atrocity. But some of us will have to answer more than others. Not just the archvillains like Stephen Miller and John Kelly, but the people who kept right on doing their jobs, even as those jobs morphed into defending concentration camps.

Keep reading... Show less
$
Donate with CC
Donate

How often would you like to donate?

Select an amount (USD)

Newsletter

©2018 by Commie Girl Industries, Inc