Court sides with Congress in battle for Trump's bank records

Cheryl Sanders
December 3, 2019

In a ruling sure to provoke an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal appeals court Tuesday ordered Deutsche Bank to hand over President Donald Trump's financial records to the Democrat-controlled House Intelligence and Financial Services committees.

The Democratic-controlled House Intelligence and Financial Services committees issued the subpoenas in April as part of investigations into alleged foreign influence in US elections.

In a 106-page ruling, the court said the House committees' "interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive's distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions".

The split decision from the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals is another setback for the White House.

Two appeals courts have already ruled that he must make documents available, including information held by the accountancy firm Mazars USA, but decisions are pending in the Supreme Court.

The court said the application by the president and his children to block the subpoenas was properly denied by a judge this year.

Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, suggested the next step will be an appeal to the Supreme Court.

While the subpoenas were broad, the ruling stated Congress can inquire into private affairs if they're related to a valid legislative objective.

A federal appeals court has ruled that President Trump needs to comply with a request from Congress for the president's financial records, a win for House Democrats who have been fighting in the courts for months to obtain the president's banking records.

In the Deutsche Bank case, attorneys for the president's largest lender told the appeals court that it has tax returns for one person or organization that the subpoenas are seeking; however, identifying details were redacted. It made an exception, however, for "sensitive documents", citing as an example a check that may have been used to pay for medical services or any other documentation containing "sensitive personal information".

A woman with an umbrella passes a logo of Deutsche Bank in Germany in a file photograph.

Judge Debra Ann Livingston said in a partial dissent that the lower court should take a longer look at the "serious questions" raised by the case and give the parties time to negotiate.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

That said, Deutsche Bank has indicated that it is not in possession of Trump's tax returns.

Other reports by iNewsToday