For what is essentially a law-enforcement purpose

Trump’s lawyers are claiming that Congress can’t investigate Trump’s corruption.

Lawyers for President Donald Trump and the House clashed Tuesday in federal court over the extent of Congress’ power to investigate him in the first legal test of Trump’s effort to block sprawling probes of his finances and private business.

Trump wants a judge to prevent a congressional committee from obtaining financial records from his longtime accountant, Mazars USA.

He’s the president, dammit! He’s busy! He has a lot of Fox to watch, a lot of golf to play, a lot of ice cream to gobble, a lot of insult-tweets to tweet. He can’t be worrying about Congress finding out exactly how crooked he is.

Trump and his namesake businesses filed a lawsuit last month asking U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta to revoke a subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Trump’s lawyers accused the Democratic-controlled committee of abusing their power and said there was no legislative purpose for the request.

Trump’s personal lawyer, William Consovoy, argued repeatedly that Congress was seeking the president’s financial information for what is essentially a law-enforcement purpose – which was outside its authority – rather than to work on legislation. The subpoena sought Trump’s financial records to look for inconsistencies in his financial disclosure forms, and whether he misstated his holdings for loans that could leave him beholden to foreigners.

If Consovoy’s theory is correct then we might as well admit that we’re a dictatorship right now.

At one point, Mehta asked whether Congress could investigate if the president was engaged in corrupt behavior in office.

“I don’t think that’s the proper subject of investigation as to the president,” Consovoy said, although executive agencies could be investigated.

Mehta sounded incredulous, asking whether Congress could have investigated Watergate, which led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Whitewater, which led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

That’s what they’re aiming for: total immunity from all investigations and checks of any kind. The rules of course will change if ever a Democrats manages to get elected despite all the gerrymandering and ballot-misplacing.

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