President Donald Trump and his business organization sued the Democratic chairman of the House oversight committee on Monday to block a subpoena that seeks years of the president’s financial records.
The complaint became the latest front in the intensifying battle between the president and the Democrats who control the House of Representatives and are committed to investigating Trump and his finances. The complaint, filed in federal court in Washington, said the subpoena from Rep. Elijah Cummings “has no legitimate legislative purpose” and accuses Democrats of harassing Trump and wielding their new majority in Congress to try to stain the president’s standing.
“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 lawsuit states.
The lawsuit accuses Cummings of failing to consult with Republicans on the panel before issuing the subpoena and says he relied on the testimony of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who told lawmakers in February that some of Trump’s financial statements contained inaccuracies. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress in 2017 about a real estate deal involving Trump in Moscow.
“The Cohen hearing was a partisan stunt, not a good-faith effort to obtain accurate testimony from a reliable witness,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint also says the subpoena seeks to investigate events that occurred before Trump was president and “has no legitimate legislative purpose.” It says, “Democrats are using their new control of congressional committees to investigate every aspect of President Trump’s personal finances, businesses, and even his family.”
Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s lawyers, said in a statement Monday that “we will not allow presidential harassment to go unanswered.” Neither the White House nor Trump Organization responded to requests for comment.
The lawsuit comes amid a widespread effort by the White House and the president’s attorneys to refuse to cooperate with congressional requests for information and records.
Earlier this month, the Treasury Department missed a deadline to hand over Trump’s tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee. A White House spokesman referred requests for comment to one of the president’s personal attorneys, who did not immediately respond.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.