President Donald Trump’s son Eric has accused Democrat lawmakers of abusing power after they issued a subpoena to obtain financial records of President Trump and his company from Deutsche Bank, which has reportedly done business with Trump for over two decades.
“This subpoena is an unprecedented abuse of power and simply the latest attempt by House Democrats to attack the President and our family for political gain,” he said in a statement, also saying the actions “set a horrible precedent for all taxpayers.”
The subpoena was issued by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House intelligence committee, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chair of the financial services committee. It also targeted JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup for alleged money-laundering for Russian and Eastern European persons, unnamed sources told The New York Times.
“The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern,” Waters said in a statement, adding her committee is “exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible pursuant to its oversight authority, and will follow the facts wherever they may lead us.”
Schiff characterized the Deutsche Bank subpoena as “friendly.”
Alan Garten, the Trump Organization’s lawyer, said the company is considering whether to block Deutsche Bank from complying with the subpoena.
The bank said through a spokesperson that it “is engaged in a productive dialogue with the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees.”
“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations,” the emailed statement said, referring “questions concerning the investigative activities of the committees” to the committees themselves.
After taking control of the House of Representatives in January, Democrats have vowed to use their oversight powers to investigate the president, including the dealings of his sprawling real estate empire.
Deutsche Bank has provided some $2 billion in credit to Trump since 1998, The New York Times previously calculated.
A 2018 financial disclosure form showed liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of the German bank. They are for properties including the Trump International Hotel in a former post office in Washington.
Deutsche Bank said in January, shortly after Democrats took control of the House following the November elections, that it had received an inquiry from the two committees on its ties to the Republican president.
Schiff said Deutsche bank had been cooperative. “We look forward to their continued cooperation and compliance,” he said.
In a separate inquiry, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said on April 12 he plans to subpoena Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for his financial records.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), ranking member on the committee, criticized the move in an April 12 tweet.
“This is a disgraceful act of partisanship and a broken promise about fairness at the Committee,” he said.
This is a disgraceful act of partisanship and a broken promise about fairness at the Committee.@RepCummings will not let the truth get in the way of his obsession with attacking the President and the First Family. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/E7OXLXim4y
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 12, 2019
Eric Trump chimed in with an April 16 tweet.
“When you can’t legislate, harass,” he said. “This nonsense is the exact reason why the American people have such disdain for politicians and the exact reason that my father was elected President. Congress—people are sick of your incompetence.”
When you can’t legislate, harass. This nonsense is the exact reason why the American people have such disdain for politicians and the exact reason that my father was elected President. Congress – people are sick of your incompetence. #DoYourJob https://t.co/9EU90mwwvP
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) April 16, 2019
On April 3, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, requested Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service. The deadline for that submission passed on April 10 and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Neal in a letter that day that the department hasn’t decided whether to comply. On April 13, Neal gave the Treasury until April 23 to comply (pdf). He’s likely to subpoena the records next.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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Author: Petr Svab