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Trump sues to block access to financial records

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US President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit to stop lawmakers in Congress from obtaining his financial records.

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The lawsuit seeks to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee for information about Trump’s personal and business finances.

The suit, filed on Monday, alleges Democrats have launched “all-out political war” on Trump with subpoenas as their “weapon of choice”.

The committee’s subpoena sought eight years of documents from Mazars USA, an accounting firm long used by Trump to prepare financial statements.

The committee is investigating allegations Trump inflated or deflated financial statements for potentially improper purposes.

House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings issued the subpoena after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified to Congress in February that Trump had misrepresented his net worth.

“Chairman Cummings’ subpoena is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose,” Trump’s lawyers said in a filing that arguing it exceeded constitutional limits on the power of Congress to investigate.

“Its goal is to expose Plaintiffs’ private financial information for the sake of exposure, with the hope that it will turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the President now and in the 2020 election,” they said.

Cummings said there was no valid legal basis to try to block the subpoena in a statement on Monday.

He accused the White House of “unprecedented stonewalling” in refusing to produce a single document or witness to the committee.

“This complaint reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it contains a litany of inaccurate information,” Cummings said.

The filing is the first effort by Trump’s legal team to quash multiple investigations of Trump and his finances by Democratic-led committees in Congress.

His lawyers made it clear they would resist those efforts.

“Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump’s personal finances, businesses, and even his family,” Trump’s lawyers said.

“Instead of working with the President to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the President politically.”

-AAP

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