Court Rules That President Must Obey the Law

Douglas Christian/ZUMA

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The judicial fight between Congress and President Trump has completed its first round:

President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over his financial records to Congress, a Federal District Court judge ruled on Monday, rejecting his legal team’s argument that lawmakers had no legitimate power to subpoena the files.

That’s all well and good, but don’t get your hopes up too quickly. These kinds of decisions are routinely stayed while the case is on app—

The judge said that the Mr. Trump’s legal arguments were too thin to merit a stay because they did not raise a “serious legal question,” and said that issuing such a stay would amount to interfering with the constitutional powers of Congress.

“The court is well aware that this case involves records concerning the private and business affairs of the president of the United States,” he wrote. “But on the question of whether to grant a stay pending appeal, the president is subject to the same legal standard as any other litigant that does not prevail.

Wait. The president is subject to the law just like anyone else? What kind of radical left-wing mummery is this?

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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