Banks Must Provide Trump's Financial Records To Congress, Federal Appeals Court Rules
A federal appeals court has ruled that President Trump needs to comply with a request from Congress for the president's financial records, a win for House Democrats who have been fighting in the courts for months to obtain the president's banking records.
Trump's legal team is expected to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling on Tuesday from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York found that a lower court had acted properly in upholding the congressional subpoenas for Trump's financial records.
But the appeals court sent the case back to the district court to allow Trump and his family the opportunity to object to documents the family deems too sensitive to be shared to lawmakers.
In April, the House financial services and intelligence committees sought sweeping private banking records from the Trump family.
The subpoenas ask Deutsche Bank and Capital One for financial information about the president, his wife, children and his businesses stretching back nearly a decade. Trump has argued that the subpoenas overreach and are politically motivated.
If the subpoena is enforced and the documents are produced, the records could illuminate the president's business history and personal wealth. That said, Deutsche Bank has indicated that it is not in possession of Trump's tax returns.
Lawmakers are seeking information about when bank accounts were opened, individual account transactions and details about domestic and overseas financial ties.
When House investigators first sought the records in April, before the start of the impeachment inquiry, they said the documents were necessary to probe "foreign influence in the U.S. political process."
In denying Trump's effort to block the subpoenas, the appeals court wrote that the president should not be shielded from producing the financial records to congressional lawmakers.
"The Committees' interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive's distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions," the judges wrote.
Last month, the high court temporarily blocked the release of Trump's tax records in a separate request from House Democrats.
There are other legal battles pending over Trump's financial records. Among them, a grand jury subpoena from Manhattan state prosecutors, who would like to review 10 years of the president's personal financial records, including his tax returns from Mazars USA, Trump's accounting firm. The president's lawyers have also asked the U.S. Supreme Court for protection from that request. [Copyright 2019 NPR]