Trump sues banks to block House subpoenas for records

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President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally on Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (William Glasheen/The Post-Crescent via AP)

WASHINGTON | President Donald Trump, his family and the Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas seeking their banking and financial records.

The lawsuit by Trump, sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka was filed Monday in federal court in New York. The Trump Organization and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust are among the other plaintiffs.

Two House committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into the Republican president’s finances.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said at the time that the subpoenas were part of an investigation “into allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process.” He has said he wants to know whether Russians used laundered money for transactions with the Trump Organization. Trump’s businesses have benefited from Russian investment over the years.

The Trumps want a federal judge to declare the subpoenas unlawful and unenforceable. The lawsuit also seeks to block the financial institutions from disclosing information and complying with the subpoenas.

“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 lawsuit said.

The suit also charges that the congressional committees — the House intelligence committee and the House Financial Services Committee — “ignored the constitutional limits on Congress’ power to investigate” and that the subpoenas “lack any legitimate legislative purpose.”

When the subpoenas were issued April 15, Eric Trump, executive vice president of The Trump Organization, called the subpoenas “an unprecedented abuse of power and simply the latest attempt by House Democrats to attack the President and our family for political gain.”

Deutsche Bank, a German asset management firm, has lent Trump’s real estate organization millions of dollars over time.

“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 said in a statement Tuesday.

Capital One did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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This story has been corrected to show Trump wants a judge to declare the subpoenas unenforceable, not enforceable.