On Monday, he said the Trump lawsuit was not a surprise given Mr. Trump’s “long history of trying to use baseless lawsuits to attack his adversaries,” but he argued that neither he nor his businesses had a “valid legal basis to interfere with this duly authorized subpoena from Congress.”
“This complaint reads more like political talking points than a reasoned legal brief, and it contains a litany of inaccurate information,” Mr. Cumming said, accusing the White House of across-the-board stonewalling of his committee.
After the subpoena was issued, lawyers representing Mr. Trump in the congressional inquiries, William S. Consovoy and Stefan Passantino, made arguments similar to those laid out in the lawsuit directly to Mazars, urging the company not to comply. Republicans on the Oversight committee have made similar arguments.
The suit and threats from the president’s private lawyers suggest that in the face of a hostile Congress, Mr. Trump is prepared to return to a go-to move from his years as a real estate mogul.
During the 2016 election, USA Today calculated that Mr. Trump and his companies have been involved in 4,095 lawsuits over the past three decades, including defamation suits, trademark suits and employment litigation. Most have been either settled or dismissed, but only after churning out headlines.
“He uses suits to create agitation with his enemies,” said Jay Goldberg, a Manhattan-based attorney who represented Mr. Trump as a litigator for 15 years, through both of his divorces. “They have to get lawyers and there are built-in costs. These matters are usually settled or dismissed, but he uses it as a weapon.”
Mazars, which prepared financial statements for loan applications for Mr. Trump, had indicated to the chairman that it would comply with an earlier, voluntary request for that information only if he issued a subpoena. And in a statement last week, it said, “Mazars USA will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations.”