June 20, 2019

Deutsche Bank and Capital One Can Release Trump Records, Judge Rules

Deutsche Bank and Capital One Can Release Trump Records, Judge Rules


A federal judge on Wednesday rejected President Trump’s request to block his longtime lender, Deutsche Bank, from complying with congressional subpoenas.

Judge Edgardo Ramos of United States District Court in Manhattan issued his ruling after hearing arguments from lawyers for Mr. Trump and his family, as well as two Democratic-controlled congressional committees. “I will not enjoin enforcement of the subpoenas,” Mr. Ramos said, and added that he thought it was unlikely Mr. Trump and his family would win in a trial.

The ruling was the second setback this week for Mr. Trump’s efforts to prevent the release of his financial records, a central issue in his fight against Democrats who won control of the House of Representatives last year. The decision came the same day the New York legislature passed a bill that would allow Congress to obtain Mr. Trump’s state tax returns from the state.

Representatives of the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump told Judge Ramos he would have to talk to the Trump family, but that an appeal was likely.

The judge’s ruling brings Deutsche Bank a step closer to handing over a trove of detailed, confidential information about Mr. Trump, his family and his business empire. But if Mr. Trump appeals the decision, Deutsche Bank is likely to hold off on delivering the files to Congress until the litigation is resolved.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” said Kerrie McHugh, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman.

Mr. Trump, his company and his three eldest children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka — filed their lawsuit on April 29, asking to block Deutsche Bank and Capital One from complying with the subpoenas issued by the two House committees.

Mr. Trump has a long history with Deutsche Bank, the only mainstream financial institution consistently willing to do business with him after a series of defaults left other lenders facing huge losses. Since 1998, the bank has lent him a total of more than $2 billion, and Mr. Trump owed Deutsche Bank more than $300 million at the time he was sworn in as president. The bank is by far his largest creditor.

The congressional subpoenas sought decades of personal and corporate financial records, including any documents related to possible suspicious activities detected in Mr. Trump’s personal and business accounts, since 2010.

Lawyers for the Trumps argued that the subpoenas were politically motivated and had no legitimate legislative purpose.

“The subpoenas were issued 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; and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage,” the suit said.

Mr. Ramos said he agreed with Mr. Trump’s claim that turning over financial records to Congress would cause him and his family irreparable harm. But, he said, the merits of the congressional committees’ goals outweighed the harm.

On Monday, a federal judge in Washington upheld a separate congressional subpoena for financial records from Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have filed a notice of appeal in that case.



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