For the first time since his election in 2016, President Donald Trump will be working with Congress not fully controlled by his own party.

The Democrats won a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday and now talk has switched to the actions they could take against the president.

As results trickled in, posts popped up quickly on social media noting that one of the president’s toughest critics – Democrat Maxine Waters – likely will be in charge of the House Financial Committee.

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THE QUESTION

As asserted in some of those posts, and asked in others: Can Maxine Waters (or whoever is the House Financial Services Committee Chair) subpoena Trump's bank records, taxes and more?

THE ANSWER

Yes, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee can subpoena the president on a number of financial matters. If Rep. Waters is indeed picked as the chair of the committee, she will have that ability.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to their own site, the House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over a lot of areas. These include:

  • The economy
  • The banking system
  • Housing
  • Insurance
  • Securities and exchanges
  • Monetary policy
  • International finance
  • International monetary organizations
  • Efforts to combat terrorist financing

Additionally, they oversee the following federal agencies:

  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Treasury
  • FDIC
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • National Credit Union Administration
  • Office of Comptroller of the Currency
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Export-Import Bank

Here’s what that means.

  1. Yes, any subcommittee chair can order a subpoena relevant to their investigations or duties.

  2. For the House Financial Services that includes businesses, banks and individuals.

  3. There’s even a law (26 CFR 301.7216-2) letting them subpoena the IRS for anyone's tax records.

So yes, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee can subpoena President Trump - or his records, or his banks' or his tax returns.

These claims are Verified.

But such a request would probably face legal challenges.

And it’s important to note, Rep. Waters isn’t the chair yet. She’s the ranking member on the committee and the senior Democratic member. She’ll likely become the chair but the rules and subpoena rights apply regardless of who holds the chair.

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