Appeals Court Says Congress Entitled to Trump Bank Records
WASHINGTON — The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled Congress is entitled to review President Donald Trump’s banking records as it investigates possible foreign influence in U.S. elections, violations of the emoluments clause and other issues.
The three-judge 2nd Circuit panel said Congress was acting within its constitutional authority when it opened investigations into whether Trump was “vulnerable to foreign exploitation.”
“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,” wrote U.S. Circuit Judge Jon Newman.
As a result, Newman wrote, Deutsche Bank and Capital One must comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees seeking records related to his business ventures.
The decision by the panel upheld a May ruling by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who had said Trump and his company were unlikely to succeed in proving that the subpoenas were unlawful and unconstitutional.
The panel also rejected arguments that the subpoenas were meant merely to harass or embarrass the president, but did acknowledge Trump deserves some privacy protections, including protection from public disclosure of the document’s details.
As a result, it granted Trump a limited opportunity to object to the disclosure of specific documents.
Lawyers for the House committees, both of which are controlled by Democrats, have said in the past the House needs access to documents from the banks to investigate possible foreign influence in the U.S. political process and other issues, including possible money laundering.
Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer, said in a statement that the president’s legal team is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.
“We believe the subpoena is invalid as issued. In light of the Second Circuit decision, we are evaluating our next options,” he said.
If they do petition the Supreme Court to review the decision, it would only be the latest of a series of appeals the president has filed with the high court in recent weeks.
In mid-November, the president’s lawyers filed an emergency appeal with the justices over a ruling in a Washington, D.C., case involving a subpoena from a House committee for financial records held by Trump’s accountants.
They’ve also appealed a ruling in a case in which Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is seeking 8 years of Trump’s tax returns from his accountant as part of a wide-ranging criminal grand jury probe.
In The News
WASHINGTON - Getting a formal concession, finally, might all come down to this. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of appeals on Monday granted a request from President Donald Trump's campaign to consider, on an expedited basis, an appeal of a mere facet of a federal judge's... Read More
LONDON (AP) — The EU's efforts to rein in the power of big tech companies such as Google and Facebook through antitrust investigations have taken too long, dulling their effectiveness, a report said Thursday. Legal tools available to the bloc's competition regulators, meanwhile, have not kept... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge in New York ruled Saturday that Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf assumed his position unlawfully, a determination that invalidated Wolf's suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields young people from deportation. “DHS... Read More
WASHINGTON - Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., told the Federalist Society in a keynote address Thursday night the coronavirus pandemic has led to "previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty." "I am not diminishing the severity of the virus's threat to public health," Alito continued in a... Read More
President Donald Trump's challenge to the 2020 election results runs through six battleground states, five of which he won in 2016. This time around, Democrat Joe Biden has five-digit vote leads in all six states with some counting continuing, including three where he leads by more than 35,000 votes in... Read More
LANSING, Mich. — The open carry of firearms will be permitted at the polls on Election Day, under an order issued Thursday by the Michigan Court of Appeals. A three-member panel of the court rejected Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson's appeal of a ruling that struck down her directive banning the... Read More