On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving the Supreme Court with an open seat. President Barack Obama nominated a moderate, middle-of-the-road judge, Merrick Garland, to replace Scalia. However, the Senate, led by none other than Mitch McConnell, not only refused to confirm Garland, but refused to even schedule interviews with him, let alone hold a confirmation hearing. McConnell said that, with less than a year left in Obama’s term, the empty seat on the bench should be left vacant until a new president was elected.
Fast forward to 2019 when the House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed Trumps accounting firm, Mazars, for some portion of Trump’s financial records. Trump filed a lawsuit in order to keep Mazars from handing over the subpoenaed records. That suit came before Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Long story short, on Monday Judge Mehta upheld the subpoena and ordered Mazars to turn over the requested records, saying that the committee had demonstrated a facially valid legislative purpose for its investigation and the issuance of the subpoena.
“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.”
Trump, predictably, called the judge’s ruling “crazy” and once again blamed Obama for his troubles …
“We think it’s totally the wrong decision by, obviously, an Obama-appointed judge.”
Naturally, Trump’s lawyers immediately filed an appeal asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case and overturn Judge Mehta’s ruling. Judge Merrick Garland serves as the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Let that one sink in.
Now, before you begin jumping for joy, talking about poetic justice (pun intended) and all, let me urge caution, for there is no guarantee that Garland will be one of the three judges who will hear the case. And even if he is one of the three, Merrick Garland is a man of integrity, unlike some others, who will follow the letter of the law and not let past grievances colour his judgement. But take some pleasure in the knowledge that Trump likely had nightmares last night in which Judge Garland was banging his gavel on Trump’s head!
And just for kicks, take a look at Stephen Colbert’s and Jimmy Kimmel’s take on this whole thing … both are guaranteed to bring you a few deep belly laughs!