WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) — President Trump has filed suit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas for his business records.
The lawsuit by the president, sons Donald Jr. and Eric and daughter Ivanka, was filed Monday in federal court in Manhattan. The Trump Organization and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust are among other plaintiffs.
Two House committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into Mr. Trump’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. Mr. Trump’s businesses have benefited from Russian investment over the years.
The Trumps want a federal judge to declare the subpoenas unlawful and enforceable. The suit seeks to block the financial institutions from disclosing information and complying with the subpoenas.
The suit is the latest in a series of efforts by the White House to oppose congressional oversight of matters related to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The suit asserts that the “case involves congressional subpoenas that have no legitimate or lawful 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. No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one.”
Deutsche Bank, a German asset management firm, has lent Trump’s real estate organization millions of dollars over time. In a statement, it said, “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations.”
Capital One didn’t have any immediate comment.
Schiff issued a joint statement with Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who chairs the House Financial Services Committee. They said, “The meritless lawsuit filed today by President Trump to block duly authorized subpoenas to non-governmental entities is another demonstration of the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority. As a private businessman, Trump routinely used his well-known litigiousness and the threat of lawsuits to intimidate others, but he will find that Congress will not be deterred from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities.
“This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible. Trump has already said publicly that he is fighting all of the subpoenas from Congress, and that he does not respect Congress’ role as a coequal branch of government. This unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better.”
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.”