Federal judge won't block congressional subpoenas for Trump's bank records

By Stefan Becket, Cassandra Gauthier

/ CBS News

Trump cuts meeting short over "cover-up" comment

A federal judge has rejected President Trump's effort to block congressional subpoenas seeking his financial records from two banks, the second time in a week a judge has ruled in favor of Congress in its efforts to obtain the president's records.

Mr. Trump's legal team had sued to block Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with subpoenas issued by the House Financial Services Committee and House Intelligence Committee.

At a hearing in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos sided with congressional Democrats and declined to prevent the banks from complying with the subpoenas.

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Ramos read his lengthy decision from the bench. Attorneys for the president asked the judge to issue a stay on his ruling, which Ramos immediately denied. The lawyers said it was a "safe bet" they would appeal the decision.

The decision comes two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled in favor of the House Oversight Committee, which is seeking records from Mr. Trump's longtime accounting firm. The judge in that case also declined to block the subpoenas, and Mr. Trump's lawyers quickly filed a notice of appeal.

The back-to-back victories in court are likely to strengthen House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's argument that Democrats can investigate the president without opening an impeachment inquiry. Some Democratic lawmakers have argued an impeachment inquiry is necessary to obtain the records numerous committees are seeking.

At a meeting of House Democrats on Wednesday, Rep. Maxine Waters, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, emphasized the committee's efforts to obtain the Deutsche Bank records. "We must keep doing our work," Waters said, according to Democratic source familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Trump has been a client of Deutsche Bank for decades, and owes the bank at least $130 million through his various business entities, according to his 2019 financial disclosure form.

Neither Deutsche Bank nor Capital One took a position in the suit over the congressional subpoenas.

Deutsche Bank has also been subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is investigating the president's business dealings. The subpoenas in that investigation, to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank, seek records related to financing for four projects by the Trump Organization, as well as Mr. Trump's unsuccessful attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills several years ago.

Rebecca Kaplan contributed reporting.

First published on May 22, 2019 / 4:53 PM

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