The House of Representatives’ harassment of Trump is ramping up, as the Democrats in charge have been promising since they took office in January.
Last Thursday, The Hill, citing CNN, reported that Deutsche Bank had started turning over records of its dealings with Trump and his businesses in response to a subpoena from the House. It is not clear how far the process has gone, but CNN outlines the scope of the subpoena as reported by unnamed sources:
The bank is in the process of turning over documents, including emails and loan documents, related to Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC; the Trump National Doral Miami; the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago; and the unsuccessful effort to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
The records relate to transactions that took place a number of years ago, prior to Trump’s election in 2016. The deadline for compliance with the House subpoena is reportedly May 6.
Robert Mueller subpoenaed the same records in 2017, and no charges or allegations against Trump have arisen from them.
The New York Attorney General has also subpoenaed bank records on Trump from Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank, targeting activities that include the attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills.
On Monday, Trump, members of his family, and his businesses filed suit in the U.S. Southern District of New York to halt the proceedings and prevent the disclosures to the House. Trump’s lawyers argue that the subpoenas are overbroad:
The complaint filed Monday alleges that the subpoenas are sweeping and overbroad. For example, Trump’s lawyers state that the request issued to Deutsche Bank applies to “parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, branches, divisions, partnerships, properties, groups, special purpose entities, joint ventures, predecessors, successors or any other entity in which they have or had a controlling interest.”
As they put it, the House move is an attempt to “rummage around” in Trump’s financial records without any valid justification.
[A]ttorneys for the president argued that these latest subpoenas are an example of congressional overreach. They claim that by requesting the records, the Democratic lawmakers are seeking “to rummage around Plaintiffs’ private financial information in the hope that they will stumble upon something they can expose publicly and use as a political tool against the President.”
Considering that the Mueller team has already rummaged around in these records, and found nothing to indict Trump or his family or business associates on, there seems to be merit in this argument. The House subpoenas look like a classic example of a fishing expedition.
If Trump’s legal team does its job, however, and if the House defends the lawsuit and insists on the subpoenas, there’s no telling what will be uncovered in the discovery related to this lawsuit – about the motives and actions of the Democrats in the House.