(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)
- A federal appeals court rules that Deutsche Bank and Capital One can hand over years of President Trump’s financial records in compliance with House Democrats’ subpoenas.
- The ruling offers another loss in the courts for Trump, who has fought attempts to obtain his financial records through multiple lawsuits.
- The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court decisions requiring the disclosure of his financial records.
The ruling in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals offers another judicial loss for Trump, who has fought off attempts to obtain his financial records, including his tax returns, through multiple lawsuits.
Neither the White House nor a lawyer for Trump immediately responded to CNBC’s request for comment on the ruling.
In May, U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the two banks can comply with subpoenas issued by the Democrat-led House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees to hand over financial records related to Trump, his businesses and members of his family.
Tuesday’s decision was issued by a divided three judge panel made up of two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee.
Circuit Judge Jon Newman, a Carter appointee, wrote in the court’s decision that the House committees interest 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.”
Newman also emphasized in the opinion that the issues raised by the lawsuit “do not concern a dispute between the Legislative and Executive Branches” because the subpoenas sought Trump’s personal, rather than official, records.
But in a partial dissent, Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston, a George W. Bush appointee, rejected that argument, and called the subpoenas “deeply troubling.”
“I cannot accept the majority’s conclusions that ‘this case does not concern separation of powers,’ and that there is ‘minimal at best’ risk of distraction to this and future Presidents from legislative subpoenas of this sort,” she wrote.
The case is likely destined for the Supreme Court, where the president has already appealed two other lower court decisions requiring the disclosure of his financial records.
The two other cases involve subpoenas issued to the president’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA.
The justices are likely to decide soon whether to hear the cases. On Thursday, the president’s private legal team is expected to submit its formal petition to the top court asking it to review a decision by the federal appeals court in Washington that ordered Mazars to comply with a subpoena issued by the House Oversight Committee.
The justices will meet in private later this month to discuss the petition in the other case, over a subpoena issued to the firm by state prosecutors in New York.
Trump’s lawyers have argued in multiple lawsuits that the various requests for his financial records have no “legitimate legislative purpose” and are being pursued merely as an attempt to embarrass the president for political gain.
That legal argument has so far failed to sway judges in New York and Washington and was similarly rejected by the three-judge panel in the Second Circuit.
Trump has defied calls to publicly release his tax returns and provided a variety of explanations for his failure to do so. He is the first president in more than 40 years not to voluntarily make his tax records public.