Almost two years ago, in July of 2017, Donald Trump gave an interview to The New York Times in which he declared that if Special Counsel Robert Mueller dared look into his finances, that would constitute the crossing of a “red line” the president would probably be unwilling to tolerate. Specifically, Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt asked:
“Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?”
“I would say yeah. I would say yes. By the way, I would say, I don’t — I don’t — I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don’t make money from Russia.”
Why are Trump’s finances off limits? Is it because he’s not worth what he says he is? Or is it because he’s accepted millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs and organized crime figures over the years? In other words, do the numbers show that Donald Trump is a large-scale money launderer who’s in bed with murderous thugs that traffic children into sexual slavery?
Whatever the reason, on Monday a federal judge said the president cannot keep his financial records hidden from Congress. Numerous congressional committees are investigating Trump and may well be on the verge of opening an impeachment inquiry.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta of the District of Columbia wrote:
“It is simply not fathomable that a Constitution that grants Congress the power to remove a President for reasons including criminal behavior would deny Congress the power to investigate him for unlawful conduct — past or present — even without formally opening an impeachment inquiry.”
As you’d expect, the White House immediately appealed Judge Mehta’s ruling, but there’s a problem with that appeal, one that could well come back to bite Trump on the ass in a major way.
The next judge who will likely hear Trump’s appeal is the chief judge of the D.C. Court of Appeals, Merrick Garland.
Remember Judge Garland? He’s the person President Barack Obama nominated to serve on the Supreme Court, only to have his nomination blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). McConnell even refused to allow a confirmation hearing to be held for Garland. And now Merrick Garland may well wind up being a giant dose of karma that guarantees those financial records are indeed given to Congress.
So, Donnie, the days of hiding your crimes are over with. Sunlight is about to shine brightly on all of your dirty deeds. And you can thank your buddy Mitch McConnell for it.