In Combating Democratic Investigations, Trump Borrows From an Old Playbook – The New York Times

“At the end of the day, Congress’s remedies here are legislation and impeachment,” Mr. Vladeck said.

But each has limitations, and even if Democrats are successful in ultimately getting ahold of the evidence and testimony they seek, Mr. Trump’s actions could slow their investigations. Mr. Vladeck said the delay would depend on the rulings of the judge overseeing the case, but he noted that if it goes through an appeals process, that could lead to significant delays.

“If you really think about it, I was being sued for doing my job,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, whose subpoena of Mazars USA prompted the lawsuit last week.

“America needs to pay close attention when the American people have sent to Washington — a Democratic Congress to act as a check on the president and to make him accountable — and then he does things to block us from getting information,” Mr. Cummings said.

Republicans in Congress have presented Democrats with their own obstacles. In addition to casting Democrats as politically craven and illegitimate, for example, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the oversight panel, has written to the subjects of multiple Democratic document requests to urge them not to comply.

Finding such allies was one of the lessons that Mr. Trump learned from Mr. Cohn.

Mr. O’Brien, the biographer, recalled that Mr. Trump’s father, Fred Trump, was the focus of congressional and state hearings over accusations that he profiteered off publicly funded subsidies. But Fred Trump did not fight the government and accepted being shut out of subsidy programs, Mr. O’Brien said.

“Then, the government comes after the Trump Organization in 1973 alleging discrimination — most people of Fred’s ilk would have said, ‘Pay your fine and move on,’” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Donald, I think with Roy baiting him,” chose another path, he said.


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