A judge from Utah is learning the hard way that he shouldn’t be playing politics.
A Utah judge has been suspended for six months without pay after he made a series of critical statements about President Donald Trump online and in his courtroom over the past few years.
The Utah Supreme Court filed its court ruling this past week on Judge Michael Kwan’s actions.
Kwan, who has served as a justice court judge in Taylorsville for 20 years, was cited for “improper use of judicial authority and his inappropriate political commentary,” the latter often involving President Trump.
The court noted multiple times when Kwan had provided political comments that criticized Trump, as a presidential candidate in 2016 and as president on his Facebook page and in court.
Three days after the 2016 election, Kwan wrote on Facebook, “Think I’ll go to the shelter to adopt a cat before the President-Elect grabs them all” — a reference to the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump was heard bragging about grabbing women’s genitals without consent.
Almost a month after Trump’s inauguration, Kwan said “welcome to the beginning of the fascist takeover” and questioned whether Congressional Republicans would be “the American Reichstag,” this time referring to the political body of Nazi Germany.
There is no law stating that a president – or presidential candidate – has to make public his or her tax returns. Most do so entirely voluntarily.
A district judge on Monday upheld a subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for President Trump’s financial records, dealing a blow to White House efforts to resist the Democrats’ investigations.
In a 41 page-long opinion, Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, found that the panel, under the leadership of Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), had valid reasons for requesting the president’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars, even though they predated his entering office.
“These are facially valid legislative purposes, and it is not for the court to question whether the Committee’s actions are truly motivated by political considerations,” Mehta wrote.
The ruling comes just hours after the White House ordered former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee for his testimony at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday. Trump’s lawyers will also be in federal court in New York to try and quash similar subpoenas issued by other House Democrats for financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
Mehta’s order against Trump also underscores the difficult legal battle the president has waged by suing to block the subpoenas. Legal experts have told The Hill that it’s unlikely Trump’s legal reasoning will hold up in court, but that the lawsuits could be an attemp