elijah cummings 3-27-2019
Cummings: We could be headed toward constitutional crisis
01:01 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings said Wednesday that an accounting firm that provided financial statements for President Donald Trump will give financial documents to his committee — but only if they receive a subpoena first.

Cummings had set a Wednesday deadline for the accounting firm, Mazars USA, to provide financial documents from Trump going back 10 years as part of the committee’s probe into Trump’s finances.

“The accounting firm told us that they will respond, and they just want a subpoena,” the Maryland Democrat told reporters Wednesday. “They have told us that they will provide the information pretty much when they have a subpoena. And we’ll get them a subpoena.”

Cummings described it as a “friendly subpoena” to the firm because it had been requested.

Michael Cohen, the President’s former lawyer and fixer who accused Trump of financial fraud, provided the committee with three years’ worth of financial statements prepared by Mazars, in which Cohen says Trump inflated his wealth as he attempted to purchase the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.

“Mr. Cohen produced to the Committee financial statements from 2011, 2012, and 2013 that raise questions about the President’s representations of his financial affairs on these forms and on other disclosures, particularly relating to the President’s debts,” Cummings wrote in the letter to Mazars CEO Victor Wahba.

Cummings’ letter raised several concerns about the financial statements, including the calculation of Trump’s net worth, the omission of real estate assets and debts in Chicago and Las Vegas and the valuation of “real estate licensing developments.”

Republicans on the committee have criticized Democrats for seeking financial information about Trump long before he was a candidate for President, as well as their reliance on Cohen as a key witness.

Cohen is set to report to prison in May to start a three-year sentence for nine charges, including campaign-finance violations related to payments he arranged to silence women who claimed affairs with Trump, all of which Cohen pleaded guilty to last year. Trump has denied the affairs.

“Your inquiry to Mr. Wahba about the private finances of citizen Donald J. Trump appears to depart from responsible and legitimate oversight,” GOP Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina wrote to Cummings last week. “It appears instead that you seek material from Mr. Wahba solely to embarrass President Trump and to advance the relentless Democrat attacks upon the Trump administration.”

Cummings has issued several subpoenas so far as chairman of the oversight committee, including one on Tuesday related to White House security clearances.

Cummings said he didn’t have a timeline yet for when he would move to issue the subpoena for Mazars.

A spokesperson for Mazars USA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNN’s Kara Scannell contributed to this report.