For the second time in three days, a federal judge rejected arguments by lawyers for President Donald Trump, refusing to block subpoenas issued by a U.S. House committee for financial records held by U.S. banks which did business with the President's companies.
"I think the courts are saying that we are going to uphold the rule of law," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has subpoenaed information from the Mazars USA accounting firm.
Wednesday's ruling from federal Judge Edgardo Ramos, put on the bench by President Barack Obama, related to subpoenas by two other House panels to Deutsche Bank and Capital One, for records related to Mr. Trump's businesses.
Lawyers for the President, the Trump Organization, and Mr. Trump's family had asked that the subpoenas be quashed - the judge made clear that wasn't happening, and also rejected a request to stay his ruling to allow for an appeal.
Ramos: "These subpoenas are all in service of facially legitimate investigative purposes."— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) May 22, 2019
Deutsche statement in full:— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) May 22, 2019
“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations.”
As in investigative matters involving the President's tax returns, and other subpoenas from Democrats, Mr. Trump's legal team argued that there is a limit on the investigative power of the Congress.
"Congress must, among other things, have a legitimate legislative purpose, not exercise law-enforcement authority, not excess the relevant committee's jurisdiction, and not make overbroad or impertinent requests," the President's lawyers wrote in a brief filed last week.
But as with a case in federal court in Washington earlier this week, that argument failed to sway Judge Ramos, who said Deutsche Bank can turn over in the information sought by the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
In the halls of Congress, Democrats said the legal victories were clear evidence that the resistance of the White House to Congressional investigation could only succeed for so long.
"The White House has attempted to block Congressional oversight, but the law is on our side," said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT).
And Democrats also were pleased by the quick action of both judges this week, amid worries that multiple legal challenges by the President could cause lengthy delays.
"We should not be slowed down in our work simply by a clock that goes through judicial processes," said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA).
President Trump’s blockade of subpoenas is unprecedented.— Rep. Ted Deutch (@RepTedDeutch) May 22, 2019
Trump just lost in the courts for the second time this week.
This isn’t a food fight between two branches. It’s the President going completely outside the bounds of our constitutional system of checks and balances.
House Financial Services Chair @RepMaxineWaters says she is "very pleased" judge ruled Deutsche Bank and Capital One can give Trump financial records to her committee— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) May 22, 2019
The legal setback for President Trump came several hours after he cut short a White House meeting with top Democrats on infrastructure, saying he would not work with them on major legislation until the House stopped a variety of investigations.
"Get these phony investigations over with," the President told reporters in the Rose Garden.
Mr. Trump seemed especially aggravated by statements earlier on Wednesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accused the President of resisting subpoenas and other document requests for a reason.
"And we believe the President of the United States is engaged in a cover-up, in a cover-up," Pelosi told reporters at the Capitol.