Responding to a July Supreme Court decision that went against a congressional investigation into Donald Trump’s finances, Rep. Adam Schiff announced Wednesday that the House Intelligence Committee would limit the scope of its subpoena for records held by Deutsche Bank. According to sources, investigators hope the records will show whether there are any financial ties between Trump and the Russian government.
In a memo to House members, Schiff wrote, “Although not required by the Supreme Court’s opinion, the Committee will voluntarily narrow its subpoena to those records that are absolutely necessary to satisfy the Committee’s investigative needs and to fulfill the Committee’s legitimate oversight and legislative objectives,” The Hill reports.
In a pair of rulings last month, the Court unanimously rejected Trump’s claim of “absolute” immunity from a criminal subpoena issued by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. In the case of the Intel Committee’s investigation, the justices voted seven to two that lower courts had not done enough to examine the House’s reasons for demanding records from Trump’s accountants and banks.
In that decision, Chief Justice John Roberts cited the Federalist Papers, writing, “Without limits on its subpoena powers, Congress could ‘exert an imperious control’ over the Executive Branch and aggrandize itself at the President’s expense, just as the Framers feared. Congressional subpoenas for information from the President… implicate special concerns regarding the separation of powers. The courts below did not take adequate account of those concerns.”
The ruling ensures that the House will not see Trump’s financials until after the November election.
Schiff said in his memo that the revised subpoena will limit the time period for records it’s seeking to five years from January 1, 2015 to the present, and that it will “limit the accounts covered by the subpoena to only those belonging to Donald J. Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump, the Trump Organization (and its component and affiliated corporate entities), and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, but not other immediate family members as requested in the original subpoena.”
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