Two Obama-appointed judges have upheld the “most invasive Congressional subpoenas for private financial information in American history.” The judges refused to grant a stay for appeal, so banks have turned over to the US Congress financial records of private citizen Donald Trump (and, by extension, his family) before he became President. Democrats have made a power play that boggles the mind in its violation of some of the most basic freedoms granted US citizens in the Bill of Rights.
Attorney Robert Barnes penned a good brief, cogent summary of how and why the judges’ decisions were wrong. Barnes notes that Congress’ investigative subpoena power in the past has been “so sparingly employed,” the Supreme Court had “few cases” to review its use for most of our history (Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 193 ). There’s some strong language in previous decisions, however, which comes down heavily on the side of upholding citizens’ rights in face of Congressional subpoena power that stood out to me:
“Investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to punish those investigated are indefensible.” Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 186 (1957)
The Court early on rejected the power of Congress to inquire into the private affairs of a famous company connected to politics. Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168 (1881).
“a general inquiry designed to ascertain plaintiff’s personal wealth or general net worth is not pertinent to the investigation and plaintiffs are constitutionally protected from disclosure of this type of information.” Bergman v. Senate Special Committee on Aging, 389 F.Supp. 1127, 1130 (S.D.N.Y. 1975).
A district court (SDNY) held that purely personal records could not be subpoenaed by Congress (emphases in this paragraph mine), stating “the request for these documents by the Subcommittee amounts to unauthorized action without valid legislative justification in violation of certain of their constitutional rights.” Bergman v. Senate Special Committee on Aging, 389 F.Supp. 1127, 1130 (S.D.N.Y. 1975).
To quote Robert Barnes, “There is literally no precedent for the scope of the subpoenas these two Obama-appointed Judges approved.” Their refusal to stay their judgment to allow for appeal points to partisanship given they’ve jumped the shark on some pretty clear legal precedent. And if they do not know the legal precedents, they surely cannot be blind to have noticed Democrats’ repeated calls for impeachment and fulsome punitive threats/actions against the current POTUS and members of his administration. So much for Chief Justice Roberts’ claim to a non-partisan judiciary: “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.”
Democrats are shredding precedent and US history all over the place to unseat Donald Trump. New York legislature has recently amended their laws regarding double jeopardy and tax disclosure (aimed at Trump but affecting all New Yorkers), and a few other states are attempting to change their electoral college allocation.
It will be interesting to watch if Mitt Romney, Justin Amash, or any of the Trump critics who vocalize their opposition as based on principle speak to this trampling of our Constitution. With this forced seizure of personal financial records, we have not only the infringement of citizen Trump’s civil liberties, but also an overreach by two of the three branches of the federal government.
Then there’s the rest of the world. Since the election of Donald Trump and the positions/policies he’s taken, citizens in other Western countries have been emboldened to vote decisively in ways that tell the Left/globalist leaning politicians “you’ve gone too far.” He’s currently doing battle with the mercantile pirate China pretty much on behalf of the free world. What message does it send that the Left in America has gone so far as to trash a President’s freedoms despite the laws/rights Americans supposedly hold so dear?Published in