May 22, 2019

Judge rejects Trump effort to block Deutsche Bank subpoena

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A district judge in New York has declined to issue a preliminary injunction preventing Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with a congressional subpoena for President Trump's financial records.

"Put simply, the power of Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process."
— Judge Edgardo Ramos

Context: The House Financial Services and Intelligence committees subpoenaed Deutsche and other institutions last month in an effort to obtain years of financial records belonging to Trump, his company and his children. Trump sued the banks in response, arguing that the subpoenas "have no legitimate or lawful purpose" and were being weaponized for the purpose of "presidential harassment."

  • In a statement to CNBC, a Deutsche Bank spokesperson said: "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations."

The big picture: The decision by Judge Edgardo Ramos follows a similar ruling earlier this week in a case involving Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., declined to block a House subpoena for 8 years of Trump's financial records, ruling that the public's interest in "maximizing the effectiveness of the investigatory powers of Congress" was greater than any damage to Trump or his businesses.

  • At a House Democratic caucus meeting earlier Wednesday, Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings referenced the D.C. court's Mazars ruling as vindication of Congress' authority to conduct investigations, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
  • Democratic leaders who are hesitant to launch impeachment proceedings will likely point to this second victory as an example of why the party should stay the course and let the court battles play out.

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