President Trump recently lost two lawsuits challenging subpoenas for financial records from several financial institutions. On Monday, May 20, Washington, D.C. federal judge Amit Mehta ruled in favor of the U.S. House of Representatives, who requested Trump’s financial records from his accounting firm, Mazars LLP. Later in the week, New York Judge Edgardo Ramos rejected Trump’s request to block subpoenas from Deutsche Bank and Capital One, requiring them to comply with Congress’ requests. Some other institutions have already complied with the subpoenas.
The lawsuits put forth this past week by Trump appear to be aimed at stalling or stopping Congress’ various investigations into Trump’s affairs. The issues being investigated include Trump’s tax returns; various financial dealings, including his Washington hotel; security clearances for members of his family; and policy decisions Trump has made. Trump has refused to cooperate with any of the investigations, calling them “political” and lacking legislative purpose.
Trump’s attorneys hold that Congress simply wants to “turn up something that Democrats can use as a political tool against the president now and in the 2020 election.”
But many see the swiftness of both judges’ rulings to uphold the subpoenas as an indicator of the weakness of Trump’s legal cases. This strengthens speculation that Trump will ultimately lose.
House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), called Mehta’s decision a “slam dunk.”
Previously, many progressive members of Congress had been looking to initiate impeachment proceedings in order to pursue criminal investigations. But these victories provide support for Congress’ investigations into possible criminal activity by Trump, reducing or eliminating the need for impeachment proceedings, as they make legal progress.
Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Judiciary Committee Chair, who had been urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to open impeachment proceedings, agrees that Congress’ victories this past week have made the argument for impeachment “much weaker.”
Wells Fargo and TD Bank have already turned over documents to the House Financial Services Committee, with “a few thousand” coming from Wells Fargo and “a handful” coming from TD Bank. Congress has subpoenaed a total of nine financial institutions for financial records pertaining to Donald Trump.
Federal judge sides with Congress, ordering Trump to turn over financial records | CBS This Morning [2019-05-21]
Report: Wells Fargo, TD Bank have turned Trump’s financial records over to the House | Fox News [2019-05-22]