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House Dems allege Trump subpoena lawsuit is stonewalling 'legitimate' congressional probes

House Dems allege Trump subpoena lawsuit is stonewalling 'legitimate' congressional probes
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Attorneys for the Democratic-controlled House Financial Services and Intelligence committees shot back at President TrumpDonald TrumpSacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Sorkin uses Abbie Hoffman quote to condemn Capitol violence: Democracy is 'something you do' Ex-Trump aide Pierson planning run for Congress MORE's request to block the panel's subpoenas in court Friday, arguing that he is attempting to stop lawmakers from carrying out legitimate investigations.

Trump, his family and business are seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Deutsche Bank and Capital One from handing over financial records to lawmakers.

But the House Democrats said that they “are investigating serious and urgent questions concerning the safety of banking practices, money laundering in the financial sector, foreign influence in the U.S. political process, and the threat of foreign financial leverage, including over the President, his family, and his business.”

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“But rather than respect the Committees’ legitimate investigations into these serious issues of national importance, Mr. Trump and his companies have continually engaged in stonewalling intended to obstruct and undermine these inquiries,” the filing states. “This suit is Mr. Trump’s latest attempt to prevent Congress from obtaining critical information needed to make informed legislative judgments and perform meaningful oversight.”

Attorneys for the lawmakers also state that while their investigations are examining the president, his family and businesses, “they are doing so as part of much broader investigations to inform their legislative and oversight responsibilities, which include the issuance of subpoenas seeking information from other financial institutions about their practices with respect to clients other than the plaintiffs.”

The filing states the House Financial Services Committee, under the direction of Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersLawmakers, Martin Luther King III discuss federal responses to systematic racism The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by The AIDS Institute - Ahead: One-shot vax, easing restrictions, fiscal help Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds MORE (D-Calif.), is investigating lending practices and ways to prevent loan fraud.

And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffBiden holds off punishing Saudi crown prince, despite US intel Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Democrats demand Saudi accountability over Khashoggi killing MORE (D-Calif.) is investigating ties between Trump and Russia as part of its ongoing Russia probe. The filing argues that he needs the records to determine if the president, his family or associates were ever vulnerable to potential foreign influence.

Attorneys for the president have argued that Congress is overstepping its authority by requesting the financial records, as the investigations aren’t tied to lawmaker’s legislative authorities.

But the lawmakers argued there is no need for their probes to be tied to legislation, an assertion echoed by legal experts.

“If Congress could only investigate matters where legislation is actively being drafted—but not, for example, where legislation had already passed the House or could be developed in the future—Congress would be unable to fulfill its purpose,” Friday’s filing states.

And they similarly rejected Trump’s claim that the subpoenas are nothing more than a fishing expedition for damaging political information ahead of the 2020 election, saying that statement “is unsupported by anything other than political rhetoric and press statements.”

Trump is also suing to stop a congressional subpoena issued by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsHouse Democrats reintroduce bill to reduce lobbyist influence Trump voters and progressives have a lot in common — and Biden can unite them We must act on lowering cost of prescription drugs MORE (D-Md.) for financial records from the accounting firm Mazars.

He has vowed to stop all subpoenas issued by congressional committees.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) earlier Friday announced that he issued subpoenas for six years Trump's tax returns, setting the stage for another battle over those records.

 

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