A federal judge ruled Monday that President Donald Trump's longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, must comply with a subpoena by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requesting financial documents related to Trump and his businesses. But new information highlighted Monday revealed the ruling judge may have some political bias.
What did the judge say?
U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, defended the broad authority given to Congress to investigate the president.
Mehta ruled that while "there are limits on Congress's investigative authority ... those limits do not substantially constrain Congress."
"So long as Congress investigates on a subject matter on which 'legislation could be had,' Congress acts as contemplated by Article I of the Constitution," Mehta wrote in a 41-page opinion. "President Trump cannot block the subpoena to Mazars."
Trump's legal team sued in federal court last month to block the subpoena. They argued the subpoena was politically motivated, and therefore, held no legislative purpose. Mehta, however, claimed it was not his job to determine whether or not the subpoena had a political motivation behind it.
"These are facially valid legislative purposes, and it is not for the court to question whether the Committee's actions are truly motivated by political considerations," Mehta said.
What about Mehta's partiality?
Financial records indicate that Mehta personally donated to Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.
Records show that Mehta donated $1,000 to the Obama/Biden re-election campaign on Sept. 17, 2012, then donated another $1,000 to the same campaign one month later on Oct. 16, 2012.
Oh look, the Federal Judge who just ruled that President Trump must turn over his financial records to Congressiona… https://t.co/xX1FiZBZyw— Andrew Surabian (@Andrew Surabian) 1558394220.0
At the time, Mehta worked at Washington, D.C., legal firm Zuckerman Spaeder. Obama did not nominate him to the court until 2014.
Further, Mehta denied a request by Trump's legal team to issue a stay on his ruling while it undergoes the appeal process. However, he did grant a seven-day waiting period.
From the American Thinker:
A stay of a ruling with irreversible consequences is standard operating procedure. In this case, once the records would be turned over before the appeals process could play out, any appeals reversal would be moot, since the records, once disclosed, cannot be made private and confidential once again. In effect, Judge Mehta has made himself the Supreme Court of the United States as far as litigant Donald Trump is concerned.
This is a "tell" — an unintentional indication that the judge is biased and willing to deny the right to appeal his decision in order to advance the political agenda of the House Democratic Caucus, as expressed through Representative Cummings's committee's subpoena.
Trump's legal team filed an appeal Tuesday, sending the case to the Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. It's not clear when the appeals court will hear the case.