A federal judge has ruled that a House committee should be able to access former President Donald Trump's tax records through his accounting firm, Mazars USA, CNN reported Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Ahmit P. Meta issued the ruling, which you can read here, in a court battle between Mazars USA and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
The ruling comes a day after CNN reported that the Biden administration is unlikely to provide Trump's tax returns to the committee before November, despite a recent Justice Department decision saying that the IRS "must" hand them over — in response to a separate lawsuit.
CNN host John King described Meta's Wednesday decision in the Mazars USA case as "a big deal" and "an important court ruling that opens a big door for Democrats."
CNN reporter Kara Scannell explained the decision: "The way that it breaks down is that the House Oversight Committee, according to the judge, will be able to have access to documents relating to the Trump Washington D.C. hotel. That's because they have oversight of the GSA, which has entered into this lease. Documents related to the Trump organization, to the president, all related to that D.C. hotel will have to be turned over."
"In addition, the accounting firm will also have to turn over information that fit under the umbrella of emoluments," Scannell added. "The judge is saying that pertains to certain documents involving the years 2017 and 2018, but where the House committee lost on this ruling is that the judge is saying that they cannot have access to records that pertain to the period before Donald Trump took office. So, a split ruling, but certainly the big issue here is that Donald Trump hasn't wanted any of these records to be turned over, and now this judge is saying that they will."
Legal analyst Elie Honig noted that the decision is likely to be appealed.