Lawmakers seek records as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the entire banking industry that will help legislators write new laws to prevent bank fraud, money laundering and foreign influence in U.S. elections.
(UPI) — A second judge has declined to block subpoenas that seek financial records from President Donald Trump, moving congressional Democrats one step closer to obtaining the documents that date back nearly a decade.
Trump filed for an injunction to block lawmakers’ access to records dealing with Trump’s dealings with the Deutsche Bank and the Capital One. The sought records, which date back to 2010, also relate to the business involvement of Trump’s family.
Attorneys for Trump, his children and his company argue the subpoenas — issued by the House financial services and intelligence services committees — lack a legitimate legislative purpose and are intended to cause political damage.
Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected the request to block subpoenas for the records, which could reveal internal communications between Trump and foreign individuals.
“Another day, another very important ruling. Different judge, same opinion,” said House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff. “The Trump legal arguments are without merit — raise no serious legal questions and speed is of the essence.”
“We will be filing a timely appeal with the Second Circuit,” vowed Trump attorney Jay Sekulow,
Attorney Douglas Letter, who represented Congress in the court hearing, told Judge Ramos lawmakers seek the records as part of a wide-ranging investigation of the entire banking industry that will help legislators write new laws to prevent bank fraud, money laundering and foreign influence in U.S. elections.
“This is a massive, fundamental misunderstanding Mr. Trump has with Congress,” he said.
Letter said the House wants to know why Deutsche Bank was “lending to Trump when no other bank would touch him.”
Deutsche Bank and Capital One wrote in court filings that they have “no position” on the subpoenas and this dispute is between the House and Trump.
Ramos is the second judge in four days to decline a presidential request to intercede. This week, another federal judge ruled the House oversight committee could proceed with a subpoena for Trump’s records that are held by accounting firm Mazars. Trump has already appealed that decision.
While the battle continues for the documents and Trump’s federal tax returns, the New York Assembly approved a bill Wednesday that would make his state tax returns public. The bill is expected to be signed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
New York lawmakers are hoping his state tax returns will have much of the same information as the federal returns would.
Despite multiple promises to do so, Trump has not yet released any tax returns for scrutiny since he first announced he would run for president — a longstanding tradition for presidential candidates. Trump has said an ongoing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit is the reason he’s not yet publicized the returns.