Trump's Failboat Ride Through The Courts Continues: Deutsche Bank Edition!
BOOM! as they say on the internet. For the second time this week, Donald Trump has had his ass handed to him in court in a lawsuit where the president is desperately seeking to keep companies he's done business with -- and maybe committed crimes against -- from turning over his financial records, pursuant to lawful subpoenas from the House of Representatives.
Judge Edgardo Ramos in the Southern District of New York heard oral arguments Wednesday in Trump's lawsuit to stop Deutsche Bank and Capital One from turning over his banking records. After the arguments had finished, Ramos took a recess for 10 or 20 minutes, and then came back ready to read his VERY LONG RULING from the bench, which means he is either a very fast typing mouse, or he already knew the answer to the question before Trump's dumbass lawyers even opened their mouths. And spoiler alert, Ramos ruled the subpoenas are valid, there will be no stay, there will be no injunction, do not pass go, FUCKING GIVE IT.
Presumably if Ramos had heard something resembling an "argument" from Trump's lawyers during the hearing, he wouldn't have gone ahead and ruled. But oh well, he didn't hear any of those, we guess!
Of course, Trump's lawyers will appeal this one, just like they appealed the ruling on Mazars, Trump's accounting firm, complying with congressional subpoenas. But for now, Deutsche Bank has signaled it's ready to comply (and it sounds like they probably have some fun stuff to share!), which isn't surprising, since neither Deutsche Bank nor Capital One had either shit or shinola to say in court one way or the other.
As we've been explaining, Trump's legal strategy -- his only one, as far as we can tell -- has been to argue in court that Congress does not even exist, and therefore has no right to investigate anything regarding the president, because HE SAYS their investigations serve no "legislative purpose." That's what his lawyers said in the Mazars case, which as Maddow has been noting is basically a "twin" to this one. Trump lost that case on Monday. That's what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been saying about why he shouldn't have to follow the very clear law and FUCKING GIVE IT Trump's tax returns to House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richie Neal. Funny, that's not what the IRS's own internal memo says on the subject!
And now, in front of a different judge, with a different lead lawyer (Patrick Strawbridge), but with the same dumbfuck arguments, Trump has lost again.
"Another Day, another very important ruling," Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said. Schiff is chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank.
The other subpoena in question came from the House Financial Services Committee. You know, Maxine Waters's joint. So she and Schiff both won yesterday!
The argument keeps losing in court, because it is not an argument. The Constitution and a couple hundred years of American jurisprudence have established that Congress gets to investigate what it wants to investigate, and this current Congress has made super-clear why Trump's financial records and taxes are relevant to their work in legislating. Hell, in court yesterday, House lawyer Douglas Letter explained chapter and verse that these subpoenas aren't even just about Donald Trump, but also about Russian money laundering and foreign influence (on Trump and also on Jared Kushner) and all kinds of other stuff. (Not that Deutsche Bank has ever had any issues with Russian money laundering or gave the Kushners any weird-ass loans, no they never!)
All of this is a no-brainer.
(And yes, before you ask, Edgardo Ramos is another OBAMA JUDGE. And no, it doesn't matter, because one day very soon a Republican-appointed judge will hand Trump his ass in just the same way, because CONGRESS IS NOT MY REAL DAD is not actually a legal argument, even to Republican judges.)
Without the power to investigate—including of course the authority to compel testimony, either through its own processes or through judicial trial -- Congress could be seriously handicapped in its efforts to exercise its constitutional function wisely and effectively.
Courthouse News reporter Alex Klasfeld was in the courtroom, and if you are a nerd, his Twitter feed yesterday was a must-read, so we'll share you a few of his tweets. Note how Ramos keeps referring to the Supreme Court, as if to say "HINT HINT, you idiots, even if this shit hits the Supreme Court -- yes, even Trump's Supreme Court with Kegstand McBadTouch on it -- you are still going to fucking lose."
THAT'S NOT THE SUPREME COURT'S STANDARD.
As Ramos wound down, he said, "The court concludes that the plaintiffs have not raised any serious questions," which we interpret to mean Trump and his lawyers are just wasting everybody's time here, because if they haven't raised any serious legal questions yet, they're never going to.
Then he denied the injunction and the stay and then he went out for pizza and beers, probably, unless he didn't do that.
As we noted, this comes after Trump got his ass handed to him on Monday on basically the same issue, in a different court case. Also, NBC News reported last night that Wells Fargo and TD Bank have already been giving wee thousands of Trump financial documents to Maxine Waters's House Financial Services Committee.
Oh yeah, and the New York state Assembly officially passed the bill previously passed by the state Senate to authorize New York to hand over Trump's state taxes (which probably have much as the same info as his federal taxes) to Congress.
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