U.S. President Donald Trump sued Monday to block a congressional panel from subpoenaing his personal and business records from the accounting firm that for years has handled his financial affairs.
Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, is seeking eight years of Trump information from Mazars USA. But the president and his corporation, the Trump Organization, said in their suit the subpoena "is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose."
The Trump suit said, "Instead of working with the president to pass bipartisan legislation that would actually benefit Americans, House Democrats are singularly obsessed with finding something they can use to damage the president politically."
The committee's effort to subpoena the Trump information is part of a stepped-up effort by opposition Democrats in the House to investigate the Republican Trump and his administration after Democrats took control of the legislative chamber in January.
Mazars and a predecessor firm signed off on financial statements for Trump when he was seeking loans. But Democrats say they suspect some of the information includes exaggerations or inaccuracies about Trump's wealth and were accompanied by a statement from the company saying it was not responsible for the accuracy of the information.
Lawyers for the president had previously told Mazars a subpoena of Trump's records "would not be valid or enforceable. "The company last week said it "will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations."
The House panel is seeking the information after Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, told investigators Trump has on occasion inflated his net worth to mislead lenders and insurers.
Another congressional committee has demanded Trump's tax returns from the Treasury Department. Trump, alone among U.S. leaders for the last four decades, has refused to voluntarily release his tax returns, saying they are being audited, although nothing legally prevents him from releasing them while they are being reviewed.