Trump family, businesses sue in effort to block banks from complying with subpoenas

 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump hits Biden as he hits 2020 trail Trump blasts union chiefs after Biden gets key endorsement Grassley to Trump: Lift tariffs or new NAFTA deal is ‘dead’ MORE, members of his family and his private businesses filed a federal lawsuit late Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block the financial institutions from complying with congressional subpoenas.

The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of New York, comes after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGOP ready to step up spying case Pelosi should take a page from Tip O’Neill’s playbook Impeachment without conviction plays right into Trump’s hands MORE (D-Calif.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersNotre Dame can’t be more urgent than people without food and shelter Maxine Waters blasts judge’s decision to release Coast Guard officer accused of threatening her The Hill’s Morning Report — Biden takes aim at Trump, early battlegrounds MORE (D-Calif.) issued the subpoenas seeking records on Trump’s personal finances.

“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. No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one,” the complaint states.

Trump’s attorneys are seeking an injunction “quashing the subpoenas,” as well injunctions blocking both financial institutions from handing over the records.

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The lawsuit comes days after it was reported that Deutsche Bank has started turning over Trump’s financial documents to the New York state attorney general’s office in response to a subpoena.

The Hill has reached out to Capital One and Deutsche Bank for comment.

In a statement, Trump’s legal team said they filed the lawsuit “to protect the privacy rights of the President, his family and their businesses.”

“Every citizen should be concerned about this sweeping, lawless, invasion of privacy,” the lawyers said. “We look forward to vindicating our clients’ rights in this matter.”

The complaint filed Monday alleges that the subpoenas are sweeping and overbroad. For example, Trump’s lawyers state that the request issued to Deutsche Bank applies to “parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, divisions, partnerships, properties, groups, special purpose entities, joint ventures, predecessors, successors or any other entity in which they have or had a controlling interest.”

In a joint statement, Schiff and Waters called the lawsuit “another demonstration of the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority.” 

“This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible,” the chairpersons said. “Trump has already said publicly that he is fighting all of the subpoenas from Congress, and that he does not respect Congress’ role as a coequal branch of government. This unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better.”

This is the second lawsuit that the president has filed in recent weeks in an attempt to shut down a congressional subpoena for his financial records. 

He–along with his private businesses–also sued House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsPelosi should take a page from Tip O’Neill’s playbook White House says former official can speak to Oversight panel next week The Hill’s Morning Report — Biden takes aim at Trump, early battlegrounds MORE earlier this month to try and block a subpoena for Trump’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars.

Trump said earlier Wednesday that he planned to fight “all the subpoenas” issued by congressional Democrats.

The tactic is a familiar one for the president, who gained a reputation during his career in real estate for taking legal action against those who presented a danger to his businesses.

While the lawsuit filed against Cummings was the first utilized by the president in his fight against congressional subpoenas, Monday’s legal action signals that he will repeatedly turn to the courts to try and battle the requests coming from Congress.

As with the previous lawsuit, attorneys for the president argued that these latest subpoenas are an example of congressional overreach. They claim that by requesting the records, the Democratic lawmakers are seeking “to rummage around Plaintiffs’ private financial information in the hope that they will stumble upon something they can expose publicly and use as a political tool against the President.”

— Updated April 29 at 11:22 p.m.

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