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

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

Attorneys for the Democratic-controlled House Financial Services and Intelligence committees shot back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump defends Stephanopolous interview Trump defends Stephanopolous interview Buttigieg on offers of foreign intel: 'Just call the FBI' 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 WatersFive memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Five memorable moments from Sarah Sanders at the White House Dems eye repeal of Justice rule barring presidential indictments MORE (D-Calif.), is investigating lending practices and ways to prevent loan fraud.

And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Schiff blasts DOJ over memo on withholding Trump tax returns Hillicon Valley: Hacker group targeted electric grid | House Democrats press CBP over facial recognition program | Senators offer bill to protect health data | Groups file FCC complaint over carriers' use of location data 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 question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens House Democrats question DHS over using facial recognition tech on US citizens Democrats lash out at Trump's bombshell remarks 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.

 

House Dems motion opposing ... by on Scribd