Court says banks must give Congress Trump records

New York (AFP) –


A US federal judge on Wednesday rejected an attempt by President Donald Trump to block Congressional subpoenas sent to two banks for records related to his businesses.

Lawmakers from the Democrat-controlled House of Representative's finance and intelligence committees in April sent Deutsche Bank and Capital One requests for documents related to Trump and his Trump Organization as part of a larger probe into election meddling by Russia.

The investigation is particularly focused on the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank, one of the few major banks to continue lending him money after a series of bankruptcies in the 1990s.

Trump and three of his children involved in the businesses, together with several of his companies, sued to block the release of these documents, saying the subpoenas were "intrusive and overbroad."

But federal judge Edgardo Ramos disagreed, and at a court hearing in Manhattan ordered the subpoenas upheld, paving the way for the documents to be sent to Congress.

The ruling followed a Monday report in The New York Times that said Deutsche Bank failed to raise the alarm over suspicious transactions involving Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Certain dealings in 2016 and 2017, including some with entities and individuals outside the US, set off automated alerts in the bank's systems, prompting employees to prepare "suspicious activity reports" that bank executives stopped from being forwarding to US financial regulators, the newspaper said.

The report prompted a denial from the bank, which told AFP on Monday "at no time was an investigator prevented from escalating activity identified as potentially suspicious."