Trump squares off in court with House Democrats over financial records

Trump squares off in court with House Democrats over financial records

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump returns after travelling to the AMVETS convention in Kentucky, at the South Lawn of the White House in Washington

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump asked a federal appeals court on Friday to block Deutsche Bank AG (DE:) and Capital One Financial Corp (N:) from handing the financial records of the president’s family and the Trump Organization to Democratic lawmakers.

The case, before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is one of several legal battles between the Democrats, who took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in January, and the Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year.

In subpoenas issued in April, Democratic lawmakers asked the banks for records related to Trump, his adult children and the Trump Organization.

“I do not think they have a legitimate legislative purpose that supports these subpoenas,” Patrick Strawbridge, a lawyer for the Trumps, told the appeals court.

Deutsche Bank has long been a principal lender for Trump’s real estate business, and a 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least $130 million of liabilities to the bank.

The Deutsche Bank subpoena issued by the House Financial Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee seeks records of accounts, transactions and investments linked to the Trumps, immediate family members and several Trump Organization entities, plus records of possible ties to foreign entities.

Meanwhile, the Capital One subpoena issued by the Financial Services Committee seeks records related to the Trump Organization’s hotel business.

It followed an informal request in March to the bank by Democratic lawmakers seeking records related to potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump’s Washington hotel and other businesses.

Lawyers for the Trumps have argued that Congress does not have authority to demand the records.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected that argument in May, but enforcing the subpoenas has been on hold while Trump appeals.

The subpoenas are one part of Democrats’ efforts to gather information about the president’s finances.

In June, a group of Senate Democrats urged the Federal Reserve to investigate Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump and his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.

Last month, an appellate court in Washington appeared likely to allow Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars LLP, to comply with a House Oversight Committee subpoena seeking records related to Trump’s businesses.

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