Trump sues banks to try to block House subpoenas
Washington – President Donald Trump, his family and the Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas seeking their banking and financial records.
The lawsuit by Trump, sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka was filed Monday in federal court in New York. The Trump Organization and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust are among the other plaintiffs.
Two House committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into the Republican president’s finances.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said at the time that the subpoenas were part of an investigation “into allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process.” He has said he wants to know whether Russians used laundered money for transactions with the Trump Organization. Trump’s businesses have benefited from Russian investment over the years.
The Trumps want a federal judge to declare the subpoenas unlawful and unenforceable. The lawsuit also seeks to block the financial institutions from disclosing information and complying with the subpoenas.
“The subpoenas were issued to harass President Donald J. Trump, to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage,” the lawsuit said.
Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, and fellow Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, issued a joint statement accusing the president of trying to “put off meaningful accountability as long as possible.”
“The meritless lawsuit filed today by President Trump to block duly authorized subpoenas to non-governmental entities is another demonstration of the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority,” they said late Monday.
Eric Trump, executive vice president of The Trump Organization, called Democrats “deranged” and the subpoenas a form of “presidential harassment.”
“This is all these people do,” he said Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends.” “They don’t want to do their jobs. They want to harass Trump.”
The lawsuit also charges that the committees “ignored the constitutional limits on Congress’ power to investigate” and that the subpoenas “lack any legitimate legislative purpose.”
When the subpoenas were issued April 15, Eric Trump called them “an unprecedented abuse of power and simply the latest attempt by House Democrats to attack the President and our family for political gain.”
Schiff and Waters said Trump’s “unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better.”
Deutsche Bank, a German asset management firm, has lent Trump’s real estate organization millions of dollars over time.
“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh said in a statement Tuesday.
Capital One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show Trump wants a judge to declare the subpoenas unenforceable, not enforceable.