President Donald Trump is making clear he will resist Congressional subpoenas into his personal finances and his administration's behavior, setting up a clash between two ostensibly co-equal branches of government.
That announcement came Tuesday evening via reporting by The Washington Post. The Post, citing sources inside the White House, described Trump as digging in his heels over the requests.
"The administration does not plan to turn over information being sought about how particular individuals received their security clearances, Trump's meetings with foreign leaders and other topics that they plan to argue are subject to executive privilege, according to several aides familiar with internal discussions," the Post reported.
At issue are records pertaining to Trump administration security clearances from the House Oversight and Reform committee, the president's tax returns from the Ways and Means Committee, and business loans from international banks from the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees.
The president's son, Eric Trump, called the subpoenas to the banks specifically an "unprecedented abuse of power."
On CNN's show "The Situation Room," Rep. Denny Heck (D-Wash.), who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, pushed back against that description of the Democratic majority's use of its power.
"What's unprecedented is that the president refuses to release his tax returns, like every other president in modern history dating back 50 years has done," said Heck.
Eric Trump says the subpoena of Trump-connected banks is an "unprecedented abuse of power" by the Dems— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) April 16, 2019
"What's unprecedented is that the President refuses to release his tax returns, like every other president in modern history dating back 50 years has done." - Rep. Denny Heck pic.twitter.com/H2KZr835uv
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Inside the White House, resistance to the subpoenas is coming from top officials and the president's lawyers, who are taking a broad view of the extent of presidential privilege.
"I wouldn't cooperate with any of them," Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told the Post.
Adding that he advised the president not to cooperate, Giulinai said that were it his records the Democrats were after, "I'd fight it tooth and nail."
That's setting up a conflict with Congress—one that will likely drag on through the 2020 presidential election.
Which is exactly the point, as the Post made clear.
Congressional subpoenas — and any criminal contempt proceedings that may follow — expire at the end of a congressional session, which could make matters moot after the 2020 election.
"It will be in the legislative interest to request expedited action by the courts," Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) told the Post. "Here, justice delayed is democracy denied."