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By Brent Kendall
A federal appeals court ruled House Democrats can enforce subpoenas to two banks that seek President Trump's financial records, as well as those of his family and their businesses.
The New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday rejected Mr. Trump's request to block the subpoenas, which House committees issued earlier this year to Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp.
The court, in a divided ruling, said Congress had valid and lawful purposes for seeking the documents, even though the information was about the Trump family's private financial and business affairs.
The court said the documents were relevant for investigations by the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees into the movement of illicit funds through the global banking system and efforts by foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process.
"The public interest in vindicating the committee's constitutional authority is clear and substantial," Judge Jon Newman wrote for the majority in a 106-page opinion that was joined by Judge Peter Hall.
The Second Circuit did order some limited exceptions to the subpoenas in order to prevent disclosure of sensitive personal information about the Trump family.
The appeals court agreed to stay its ruling for a week in order to give Mr. Trump the opportunity to seek emergency intervention from the Supreme Court.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said the subpoenas were invalid. "We are evaluating our next options including seeking review at the Supreme Court," he said.
Judge Debra Ann Livingston objected to core parts of the ruling in a 59-page dissent, saying the subpoenas were "deeply troubling" in their breadth and raised separation-of-powers concerns. She would have required the House committees to provide additional support for why the Trump financial records were pertinent to the congressional investigations and should be disclosed.
The case is similar to one that has been litigated in Washington, D.C., in which House Democrats have sought records from Mr. Trump's longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP. Lower courts ruled against the president, but the Supreme Court last month suspended those subpoenas for now while the president mounts a high court appeal.
Also pending before the high court is a separate Trump appeal that seeks to challenge a subpoena Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. issued to Mazars for Trump financial records -- and tax returns -- as part of a criminal investigation. Mr. Vance is examining hush-money payments to two women who allege they had affairs with Mr. Trump.
The Supreme Court could announce in the next few weeks whether it will review those cases.
Write to Brent Kendall at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 03, 2019 13:01 ET (18:01 GMT)
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