- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of upholding congressional subpoenas seeking financial records of President Trump.

The ruling came after the House Financial Services and the House Intelligence committees sought records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One connected to Mr. Trump and his family.

House Democrats say they are probing the president’s business dealings in connection with investigations into potential foreign influence in the election.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, though, said the lower court still should ensure sensitive personal information is protected and is giving the parties a chance to object to the disclosure of specific documents.

“The Supreme Court has said that a high degree of deference should be accorded to actions taken solely by Congress,” the court said in its opinion.

Jay Sekulow, the president’s attorney, said the White House believes the subpoenas are invalid and is reviewing its next step.

“In light of the Second Circuit decision, we are evaluating our next options including seeking review at the Supreme Court of the United States,” Mr. Sekulow said.

The three-judge panel, though, cautioned that Mr. Trump and his family members should have some ability to object to documents being turned over based on certain personal information — allowing further review at the lower court on remand.

One judge agreed in part with the others but wrote separately to raise concerns over the breadth of the subpoenas, suggesting they present a separation of powers issue.

“The legislative subpoenas here are deeply troubling,” wrote Judge Debra Ann Livingston, who was appointed by President George W. Bush. “Targeted at the President of the United States but issued to third parties, they seek voluminous financial information not only about the President personally, but his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his business organizations, and his business associates.”

Mr. Trump and his family had petitioned the court earlier this year to dismiss the subpoenas, saying it runs afoul of the Right to Financial Privacy Act, which shields customers of financial institutions from some government agency inquiries.

Brianne Gorod, chief counsel for the Constitutional Accountability Center, said the ruling upholds confessional oversight authority.

“The public interest strongly supports allowing Deutsche Bank and Capital One to comply with the House’s subpoenas,” Ms. Gorod said.

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