Trump appeals ruling allowing banks to hand his financial records to Congress

The subpoena on Capital One, issued by the Financial Services Committee, seeks records related to the Trump Organization's hotel business. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Friday (May 24) appealed a court order allowing Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp to hand their financial records over to Democratic lawmakers.

They are asking the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overrule US District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who on Wednesday refused to block the banks from responding to subpoenas issued last month by two US House of Representatives committees.

"We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorised investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations," Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh said in an emailed statement.

A spokesman for the Intelligence Committee declined to comment on the appeal. Capital One and the House Financial Services Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The committees have agreed not to enforce the subpoenas for seven days after Wednesday's ruling.

The Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year, has aggressively sought to defy congressional oversight of his administration since Democrats took control of the House in January.

Some parts of the subpoenas have been included in court filings. The subpoena on Deutsche Bank, issued by both committees, seeks extensive records of accounts, transactions and investments linked to Trump, his three oldest children, their immediate family members and several Trump Organization entities, as well as records of ties they might have to foreign entities.

Deutsche Bank has long been a principal lender for Trump's real estate business and a 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least US$130 million (S$178.75 million) of liabilities to the bank.

The subpoena on Capital One, issued by the Financial Services Committee, seeks records related to the Trump Organization's hotel business. It followed an informal request to the bank by Democratic lawmakers in March seeking records related to potential conflicts of interest tied to Trump's Washington hotel and other businesses.

In asking Ramos to block the subpoenas on Wednesday, a lawyer for the Trumps argued that they exceeded the authority of Congress. Ramos, however, found that they were allowed under the broad authority of Congress to conduct investigations.

Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff praised the decision in a joint statement on Wednesday as "a victory for the role of Congress as a co-equal branch of government." Ramos' ruling came two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled that Trump's accounting firm, Mazars LLP, must comply with a congressional subpoena for Trump's financial records.

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