On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the House has every legal right within its constitutional powers to review 10 years of Donald Trump’s financial records. U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta also declined to stay that decision pending Trump’s appeal because he doesn’t think they have a case that could prevail on appeal.
That appeal is coming, says Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal attorneys. He told Politico “We will be filing a timely notice of appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” Here’s where it gets fun. The chief judge of that court is none other than Merrick Garland.
You remember Garland, the eminently qualified and totally noncontroversial judge whose nomination to the Supreme Court was blockaded by Republicans, most refusing to even have a courtesy meeting him, just because he was nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the seat vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia died. Yeah, that Merrick Garland.
The three judges to hear the appeal will be randomly assigned, so Garland might not hear the appeal, not unless their decision ends up being reviewed by the full court. But chances are those three judges will have some thoughts about the situation, having witnessed one of their own fall victim to the hyper-partisan destruction of norms and traditions that pretty much brought Trump to the White House.
Trump and McConnell don’t have all the courts, not yet. There are still two institutions of government that can stop him—the House of Representatives and the judiciary. And how sweet it would be to have Garland lead the way.
Trump’s lawyers have just formally submitted their appeal of Judge Amit Mehta’s ruling that requires his accounting firm turn over his personal financial records to the House.