Congress Executive Branch

D.C. Circuit Panel Narrows House Committee Subpoena in Mazars Case

Matt Gluck
Friday, July 8, 2022, 4:29 PM

The D.C. Circuit ruled in Trump v. Mazars. Can the House Oversight Committee access former President Trump's financial records?

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on July 8 unanimously narrowed a House Oversight Committee subpoena seeking personal financial records from Donald Trump’s former accounting firm, Mazars. 

The case goes back to 2019, when then-President Trump challenged the committee’s subpoena authority—which was confirmed by both the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the D.C. Circuit. But in 2020, a Supreme Court opinion vacated that decision and remanded the case, holding that congressional subpoenas of presidential records implicate special separation-of-powers issues that the D.C. Circuit had not considered, and articulating a four-part test (known as the Mazars test) for it to do so.  

After applying the Mazars test, the D.C. Circuit ruled on July 8 that the committee’s subpoena was permissible but overbroad and in some cases insufficiently tied to a “valid legislative purpose.”

In a concurrence, Judge Rogers noted that the parties may seek rehearing of the case, “[g]iven the sensitive nature of the questions of first impression presented here.”

You can read the opinion here and below:

Matt Gluck is a research fellow at Lawfare. He holds a BA in government from Dartmouth College.

Subscribe to Lawfare