NEW YORK — A judge is poised to hear oral arguments Wednesday over President Donald Trump’s effort to block congressional subpoenas seeking financial records from two banks.
The hearing occurs after congressional Democrats sought the information from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
Trump, his family and his company contend in a Manhattan federal court lawsuit that the subpoenas are unlawful and unenforceable.
Lawyers for the congressional Democrats responded by saying a ruling in Trump’s favour would undermine the constitutional separation of powers and impede congressional probes.
Deutsche Bank has lent Trump’s real estate company millions of dollars over the years.
Prior to the hearing before Judge Edgardo Ramos, Trump’s lawyers say the judge should temporarily block Congress from obtaining the records. They say they want enough time to fully litigate the subpoenas’ legality.
The hearing falls two days after a federal judge in Washington ruled against Trump, finding that the president cannot block a House subpoena for information from a financial services firm that had done accounting work for him and the Trump Organization.
And it comes a day after Trump blocked his former White House lawyer, Don McGahn, from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.
In a written submission prior to Wednesday’s hearing, lawyers for two congressional committees wrote that Trump’s effort to block the subpoenas was “flatly inconsistent with nearly a century of Supreme Court precedent.”
The lawyers said the House’s Committee on Financial Services and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sought the information as they investigate “serious and urgent questions concerning the safety of banking practices, money laundering in the financial sector, foreign influence in the U.S. political process, and the threat of foreign financial leverage, including over the president, his family and his business.”
Lawyers for Trump responded in writing that accepting the view of the committees would mean “Congress can issue a subpoena on any matter, at any time, for any reason, to any person, and there is basically nothing a federal court can do about it.”
The banks took no position in the dispute.
Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press