Federal judge hands victory to Dems in fight over Trump’s financial records

May 23, 2019

A federal judge just handed the Democrats a victory in their battle with President Donald Trump over his financial records.

Democrats on the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees have subpoenaed Trump’s personal and business banking records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One. Judge Edgardo Ramos from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied on Wednesday a request from Trump to block the subpoenas.

The ruling is good news for Trump foes like California Democrats Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff, who chair the Financial Services and Intelligence committees, respectively.

Meanwhile, Trump suffered blows in other legal battles with House Democrats over his financial records this week, leaving Democrats closer to getting his tax returns and other documents.

Trump suffers devastating blow

Judge Ramos wrote on Wednesday that he will “will not enjoin enforcement of the subpoenas,” which call for Trump’s bank records so the House can investigate “foreign influence in the U.S. political process.” For its part, Deutsche Bank said that they would cooperate with the court order.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” Deutsche Bank said.

In the days and weeks since the no collusion blow-out, Democrats have aggressively stepped up efforts to pursue President Trump with their own investigations and subpoenas for various records, including Trump’s tax returns and financial records. Democrats have asserted their “oversight” power in the name of the Constitution, but Trump has fought back against the subpoenas, arguing that the Democrats have no legitimate purpose for making the requests.

Ramos ruled that the subpoenas have a “legitimate legislative purpose,” winning a thank-you from Waters and Schiff.

“We are pleased with Judge Ramos’ decision. Congress’ authority to conduct relevant oversight has been repeatedly challenged by this Administration,” Waters and Schiff said. “The decision made in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York today is a victory for the role of Congress as a co-equal branch of government and for the important work our Committees are doing in protecting and serving the interests of the American public.”

More battles to come

The ruling came two days after another judge in Washington ruled in favor of Democrats seeking Trump’s accounting records from Mazars USA, upholding a subpoena from Elijah Cummings’ (D-MD) House Oversight Committee. D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, ruled Monday to uphold the subpoena.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals set the dispute on the fast-track Thursday, setting a July date for the next round of arguments. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo and TD Bank turned over financial records to Waters’ and Schiff’s committees on Thursday.

The president and his allies have blasted the subpoenas as an abuse of oversight power by partisans on a witch hunt. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan (OH), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, called the committee’s subpoena “an unprecedented abuse of the Committee’s subpoena authority to target and expose the private financial information of the President of the United States.”

Trump remains in fights with the House and Ways Means committee over access to his tax returns. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has denied the request for the returns, invoking Trump’s right to privacy.

The New York state legislature passed a bill Wednesday allowing Trump’s state tax returns to be disclosed to Congress.


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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.