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Donald Trump’s Subpoena Appeals Now Head to Merrick Garland’s Court

Newsweek logo Newsweek 5/21/2019 Alexandra Hutzler

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As Donald Trump continues to fight against a congressional subpoena from House Democrats for financial records, he will now have to face the Obama-nominated judge Republicans refused to consider for the Supreme Court.

Merrick Garland is currently the chief judge at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where President Trump’s legal battle will head next as his attorneys attempt to reverse the earlier court ruling in favor of Congress.

Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016 following the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. But congressional Republicans stonewalled his nomination process until after the election, arguing that the incoming president should be the one to nominate a judge to the lifelong position.

After Trump was elected, he quickly nominated conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court. As a result, Garland resumed his position as chief judge of the nation’s most important federal appeals court, where he has served since 1997.

Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016. But congressional Republicans stonewalled his nomination process. © Andrew Harnik Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in 2016. But congressional Republicans stonewalled his nomination process. The irony of the situation was highlighted by legal analysts and political commentators on Twitter.

“I wonder who the chief judge is in the circuit where all of the fights between Congress and Trump will play out and whether he cares about partisan norm-busting. Oh that’s right...it’s some guy named Merrick Garland,” Matthew Miller, a former spokesman at the Department of Justice, tweeted.

Dena Grayson, a former Democratic candidate for Congress, wrote on Twitter: “LOL… guess who serves as the chief judge in the circuit court where the legal appeals between Congress and @realDonaldTrump will be heard?”

   

In late April, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reignited the debate surrounding Garland’s failed nomination when he signed a T-shirt featuring the judge’s face with the quote “gone but not forgotten.”

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Congress is well within its rights to request financial records as part of an investigation into potentially illegal conduct of a sitting president.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has requested documents from Mazars USA, an accounting firm for the president and the Trump Organization. Democrats are looking for eight years of Trump’s financial records.

Shortly after Mehta’s ruling, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said that his team “will be filing a timely notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” Sekulow also called the ruling “totally wrong” and “ridiculous.”

In a tweet on Monday, Trump slammed Democrats for investigating his finances instead of “looking into all of the crimes committed by Crooked Hillary and the phony Russia investigation?”


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