By Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer
Updated 2:22 PM ET, Sun October 20, 2019
Washington (CNN) Presidents understand the power of this court, and President Donald Trump may come to understand that more than most.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — known as the DC Circuit and dubbed the country’s “second highest court” — handles a distinctive caseload testing the power of federal regulators and the executive branch.
The DC Circuit’s portfolio has long put it at the center of disputes over potential White House wrongdoing, such as during Watergate in the Nixon years, the Iran-Contra scandal of the Reagan administration and Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s investigation of President Bill Clinton.
Now, it could help determine the fate of legal issues surrounding the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry and Trump’s desire to withhold personal information and limit his allies from cooperating with investigators.
In its first such case regarding Trump, a three-judge panel earlier this month affirmed the investigatory power of the US House of Representatives and upheld a subpoena for eight years of the President’s financial documents.