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United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
December 13, 2021, Argued; July 8, 2022, Decided
No. 21-5176 Consolidated with 21-5177
[*779] Srinivasan, Chief Judge: In 2019, the House of Representatives' Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to then-President Trump's personal accounting firm, Mazars USA, LLP. The subpoena sought an array of the President's personal financial records covering an eight-year period. President Trump then [**2] brought this lawsuit challenging the Committee's authority to subpoena his financial records. After our court upheld the subpoena, the Supreme Court took up the matter. Trump v. Mazars, 140 S. Ct. 2019, 207 L. Ed. 2d 951 (2020).
In the Supreme Court's view, our court had not adequately accounted for the weighty separation-of-powers concerns raised by a congressional subpoena for the President's personal information. The Supreme Court called for a "careful analysis" of the "separation of powers principles at stake," and enumerated "[s]everal special considerations" that should "inform th[e] analysis." Id. at 2035. The Court then remanded the case for an application of the framework it had set out.
Since the time of the Supreme Court's remand, there have been two developments that potentially affect the shape of our inquiry into the subpoena's validity. First, President Trump is no longer the sitting President. And second, the Committee's chairwoman has prepared a detailed explanation of the legislative purposes the subpoena serves and of how the subpoena satisfies the test laid out by the Supreme Court.
The parties unsurprisingly disagree about the significance of those developments. In the Committee's view, both developments bolster its case for the subpoena's [**3] validity. In President Trump's view, neither development should factor into the court's analysis.
We conclude that each party is half right. We agree with President Trump that the heightened separation-of-powers scrutiny prescribed by the Supreme Court continues to govern in the unique circumstances of this case even though he is no longer the sitting President. But we agree with the Committee that we can consider its detailed accounting of the legislative purposes its subpoena serves even though that explanation came after the subpoena's original issuance.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
39 F.4th 774 *; 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 18850 **
DONALD J. TRUMP, ET AL., APPELLANTS/CROSS-APPELLEES v. MAZARS USA, LLP AND COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REFORM OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, APPELLEES/CROSS-APPELLANTS
Prior History: [**1] Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. (No. 1:19-cv-01136).
Trump v. Mazars USA LLP, 560 F. Supp. 3d 47, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152966, 2021 WL 3602683 (D.D.C., Aug. 11, 2021)
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