A Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee and Government Reform Committee Rep. Jim Jordan excoriated Chairman Elijah Cummings in a memo to the committee for subpoenaing all of President Trump’s financial data. Cummings based his subpoena on testimony provided by convicted liar Michael Cohen’s testimony, the memo states, Jordan said.
Cummings requested the information from the global accounting firm Mazars USA LLP, which represented Trump prior to becoming president.
“This subpoena is a grave abuse of the committee’s authority and a violation of the Chairman’s pledge to the committee,” Jim Jordan
“This subpoena is a grave abuse of the committee’s authority and a violation of the Chairman’s pledge to the committee,” states the memorandum written on Friday. “For these reasons, I reluctantly write to inform the Members of the Committee why I strongly object to Chairman Cummings’s unprecedented subpoena to Mazars and his irresponsible and gravely dangerous course of conduct in a singular obsession of attacking President Trump and his family for political gain.”
Jordan says if Cummings obtains “highly sensitive, personal information about the President’s finances, he will selectively release the information publicly in a misleading fashion to create a false narrative for partisan political gain. Chairman Cummings has done it before. We deserve better.”
For example, on April 1, “in a sensational press release and memorandum, Chairman Cummings released cherry-picked excerpts of highly sensitive information obtained in a closed-door transcribed interview that he scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday with no notice to Members.”
Jordan, R-Ohio, said the request for the subpoenaed information is based on testimony provided by former Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, who has been convicted of lying to Congress and tax fraud. Cohen is serving a three year sentence. Jordan and his Republican colleague Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, both stated that the committee was not made aware that Cummings was issuing the subpoena for the president’s information.
“Cohen—Chairman Cummings’s first announced witness of the 116th Congress—is a convicted liar and not a credible witness,” said Jordan in the memorandum. “Cohen’s testimony was conceived and presented by Democrat political operative Lanny J. Davis, who boasted that he convinced the Chairman after some time to use the Committee for Cohen’s attacks against the President. In fact, Davis recently wrote the Chairman seeking a letter of recommendation to keep Cohen out of jail. Chairman Cummings has said he is still considering Davis’s request to help this convicted liar.”
Cummings could not be immediately reached for comment.
Cummings requested the information regarding Trump on March 20, and is “seeking four broad categories of documents relating to the finances of eight business entities related to President Trump before he sought public office.” The material requested is dated as early as January 1, 2009, which nearly seven years before Trump was a candidate. Cummings asked the accounting firm for copies of “statements of financial condition” and audits prepared for Trump and his companies. Cummings also asked for all supporting documents that were used to produce Trump’s reports. Further, Cummings subpoenaed all communications between Trump and the firm, according to his letter.
But not everything Cummings is telling the press add up. He told The Washington Post on April 3, “The accounting firm told us that they will respond and they just want a subpoena so we…we’ve got to figure out how to accommodate them…but apparently it would mean a friendly subpoena, I assume.”
In fact, that was no the case, stated Jordan.
“In actuality, attorneys for Mazars informed the Chairman that the ‘Mazars is unable to produce documents in response to the request’ due to a number of federal and state laws. Mazars never indicated that it sought a subpoena for this material,” said Jordan, in the memo.