President Trump, his family, and members of the Trump Organization have launched a lawsuit against a pair of banks to prevent them from handing over pertinent tax and revenue records to Democratic members of Congress.
According to ABC News, lawyers representing the Trump collective called subpoenas for the information from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Finance Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters “unlawful and illegitimate.”
ABC News reports Will Consavoy and Patrick Strawbridge are the counsel for the president and individual plaintiffs, and Marc L. Mukasey is counsel for the Trump business entities.
The trio issued a statement which read: “We filed this case to protect the privacy rights of the President, his family and their businesses. The subpoenas issued to Deutsche Bank and Capital One by Chairpersons Schiff and Waters are unlawful and illegitimate.”
“They seek information going back decades from anyone with even a tangential connection to the President, including children, minors and spouses. Every citizen should be concerned about this sweeping, lawless, invasion of privacy. We look forward to vindicating our clients’ rights in this matter,” they continued in the statement.
Politico reports the lawsuit itself claims the subpoenas are being used as a targeted political attack on the president “to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances, his businesses, and the private information of the President and his family, and to ferret about for any material that might be used to cause him political damage.”
“No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one,” the lawsuit adds.
Politico also adds that some of the subpoenas “request documents about accounts of the plaintiffs’ children (and in some cases, grandchildren)” over the last ten years. In addition, some of the subpoenas include “unbounded” requests which can take back to even earlier.
“The House of Representatives is demanding, among other things, records of every single checking withdrawal, credit-card swipe, or debit-card purchase — no matter how trivial or small — made by each and every member of the Trump family,” the lawyers defending Trump said.
ABC News reports the lawsuits come amid a larger effort from Schiff and Waters to look into Trump’s business dealings and personal finances:
Earlier this month, the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees – chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., respectively, jointly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank as part of their ongoing investigation into President Trump’s financial dealings and concerns about foreign influence over the Trump Organization.
In December 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to the German bank, though the nature of Mueller’s request was not clear.
Just a week ago, Deutsche Bank began turning over financial records related to its business with Trump, in response to a subpoena from the New York Attorney General’s Office, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.
And, from Politico:
Monday’s lawsuit comes a week after the president asked a federal court to block the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoena to accounting firm Mazars USA. The Democrat-led committee subpoenaed the firm to obtain eight years of Trump’s financial records.
The Oversight Committee said it needs the documents in order to corroborate testimony from former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen, who alleged that the president artificially inflated and deflated the value of his assets for his personal benefit.
During an explosive public hearing in February, Cohen disclosed copies of Trump’s financial statements which he said were turned over to Deutsche Bank as Trump was seeking a loan to place a bid on an NFL team, the Buffalo Bills. Those statements, according to Cohen, contained false information.
The committee has requested similar records from Capital One, which asked for a “friendly” subpoena before it could comply.
Schiff and Waters both responded to the lawsuits, claiming they lacked merit.
“The meritless lawsuit filed today by President Trump to block duly authorized subpoenas to non-governmental entities is another demonstration of the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority,” they said via BizPac Review.
And: “As a private businessman, Trump routinely used his well-known litigiousness and the threat of lawsuits to intimidate others, but he will find that Congress will not be deterred from carrying out its constitutional responsibilities. This lawsuit is not designed to succeed; it is only designed to put off meaningful accountability as long as possible. Trump has already said publicly that he is fighting all of the subpoenas from Congress, and that he does not respect Congress’ role as a coequal branch of government. This unprecedented stonewalling will not work, and the American people deserve better.”