A new year, a new Congress, a new subpoena in the long-stalled fight for Donald Trump’s financial records at Deutsche Bank.
MANHATTAN (CN) — As Donald Trump enters the final week of his troubled presidency, he will have managed to successfully delay and avoid any production of his Deutsche Bank financial records to lawmakers in Congress.
At a Tuesday morning hearing in that ongoing fight, a lawyer for the House committees on Financial Services and Intelligence told the Southern District of New York that the new Congress will be renewing those subpoenas “very soon.”
“The cases are not moot, the committees both intend to issue new subpoenas and do so very soon,” said Douglas Letter, counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Letter stressed that the renewals of the subpoenas are just a procedural technicality, since the subpoenas expired with the end of the 116th Congress on Jan. 3.
“We are authorized to do that under House rules that were adopted by the 117th Congress that began on Jan. 4 and that authorizes these committees to take appropriate steps so that litigation that has been ongoing can keep going without interruption,” Letter added.
Trump has been fighting the subpoenas in New York’s Southern District since 2019 as Democrats, having just won control of the House, set their sights on records Trump staunchly refused to surrender in his first election campaign.
Over the years and detours to the Supreme Court, the subpoenas are now narrower in scope but still target the Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which has still-outstanding loans with the outgoing president originally worth $300 million.
Deutsche Bank is a longtime big lender to Trump, and notably one of the few financial institutions willing to do business with him after his casino bankruptcies in the 1990s.
After last Wednesday’s violent insurrection at the Capitol building, however, the bank has reportedly decided to cut ties with Trump and his companies.
A Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment on those reports Tuesday morning.
In the remote conference call Tuesday morning, there was just one reference to last’s weeks violent attack by extremist Trump supporters. It occurred after U.S. District Judge Eduardo Ramos directed the parties to hold off on filing briefs in the case until the House committees reissue the subpoenas.
“We’ve had a little bit of some things going on in the Capitol recently, and I’d hope you’d take that into account,” Letter, the House counsel, noted.
Trump and his corporate entities were represented by attorney Patrick Strawbridge with firm Consovoy McCarthy Park in Arlington, Virginia.
Strawbridge agreed on Tuesday that Ramos’ proposal to await the new Congress’ subpoenas was a “reasonable” approach to proceeding.
Back in 2019, the Obama-appointed Ramos concluded that the House’s subpoenas were “in service of facially legitimate investigative purposes.”
The Second Circuit affirmed that defeat the same year, but the subpoenas have still made little headway after the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts called last summer for further consideration of “special concerns regarding the separation of powers.”
The Second Circuit only last month ordered the case kicked back to District Court for further proceedings.
Ramos, an Obama appointee, reiterated Tuesday how the Second Circuit encouraged the parties to privately pursue any possible resolutions of the underlying production disputes.
Resolution is unlikely in the final two weeks of Trump’s term, which the House would see cut short immediately via the 25th Amendment.
Accusing trump of having incited the rioters who led an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, the House says Trump should be impeached a second time and declared unfit by his own Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet.
Trump still has not formally conceded that he lost the November 2020 election but promised an orderly transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden a day after the Capitol attack.