NEW YORK – A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that two financial institutions can turn over information sought by US lawmakers regarding the business affairs of President Donald Trump.
US District Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected a motion brought by Trump, three of his adult children – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric – and the Trump Organization to bar Deutsche Bank and Capitol One from complying with subpoenas issued by two committees of the US House of Representatives.
Lawyers for the Trumps filed the motion late last month, contending that the Democratic majorities on the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees issued the subpoenas “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.”
The Trump legal team claimed that the committees had no legitimate legislative purpose in seeking the information.
After listening to Trump’s attorneys and lawyers representing the House committees, Ramos said that the documents sought by Congress were “clearly pertinent” to the stated purpose of investigating foreign interference in the 2016 US election.
“I will not enjoin enforcement of the subpoenas,” the judge said.
Ramos, who was nominated to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, said that arguments offered by the Trump family’s attorneys were “not sufficiently serious” in addressing Supreme Court precedent on disputes about providing documents to Congress.
Neither of the financial institutions has raised any legal objections to the congressional subpoenas.
“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh told CNBC television after Ramos rejected the Trumps’ request for an injunction.
It was Trump’s second legal setback in three days, following a decision Monday by a federal court in the District of Columbia ordering an accounting firm to honor a congressional subpoena for the president’s financial records.
District Judge Amit Mehta concluded that Trump could not block the request for documents from Mazars LLP.
Trump has characterized the flurry of congressional subpoenas as an attempt by Democrats to sustain the Russia-gate narrative after Special Counsel Robert Mueller reported that he found no evidence of a conspiracy between the Kremlin and the real estate mogul’s campaign to sway US voters.