Trump sues Deutsche Bank and Capital One to stop them turning over financial records to congress

Lawsuit condemned as 'meritless' by investigators probing alleged Russian money laundering

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 30 April 2019 09:43 BST
Trump received more than $2bn in loans from Deutsche Bank despite being 'deemed untouchable' by other institutions, report claims

Donald Trump, three of his children and seven of his companies have launched legal action against two banks in a bid to stop them complying with court orders to cooperate with congressional investigations into his financial dealings.

The federal lawsuit, filed in the US District Court's Southern District of New York, contends that Democrat-controlled House committees have no legitimate or lawful purpose in demanding records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

"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," court documents said.

The lawsuit alleges Democrats are hoping "they will stumble upon something they can expose publicly and use as a political tool against the President."

Democrat representatives Maxine Waters, who chairs the Financial Services Commission, and Adam Schiff, chair of the Intelligence Committee, called the legal action "meritless".

"This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible,” they added in a joint statement. “This unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better."

The two committees issued summons to nine financial institutions for information on Mr Trump's finances on 15 April. Both Deutsche Bank and Capital One have been involved in the president’s property empire.

"The potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern,” Ms Waters said in an earlier statement. “The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible.

Mr Schiff said the summonses included a "friendly subpoena to Deutsche Bank" and were part of an investigation "into allegations of potential foreign influence on the US political process."

The president's businesses have benefited from Russian investment over the years and Mr Schiff said he wants to know whether Russians used laundered money for transactions with the Trump Organisation.

Mr Trump has repeatedly vowed to defy any efforts from the Democrats to dig into his affairs and has used similar tactics before to avoid scrutiny.

Last week he sued his own accounting firm, Mazars USA, and the Democratic chairman of the House Oversight Committee in a bid to stop the company turning over details of his financial dealings.

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The latest lawsuit, also brought by the president’s eldest children Donald Jr, Eric, and Ivanka as well as the Trump Organisation, states that the court has the power to declare the subpoenas invalid.

Last year a federal judge rejected a similar lawsuit brought by political research firm Fusion GPS, which had been looking to prevent TD Bank turning over financial records to congress.

A Deutsche Bank statement said: "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorised investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations."

Mr Trump received more than $2bn in loans from the bank over two decades.

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

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