President Donald Trump lost another battle in his fight to keep his tax returns private when a federal appeals court sided with a House Democrats’ subpoena Tuesday.
The ruling in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allows Deutsche Bank and Capital One to fork over years of Trump’s financial records, including his personal tax returns. Two of the three judges on Tuesday’s panel were Republican, but the ruling still went against Trump.
In the reasoning for the ruling, Circuit Judge Jon Newman, who was appointed by former President Jimmy Carter, wrote that the House committee’s interest in “pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive’s distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions.”
There is also some concern surrounding separation of powers, but because the subpoenas are going after Trump’s personal, and not official, records Newman’s opinion states that the lawsuit does “not concern a dispute between the Legislative and Executive Branches.”
The partial dissent came from Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston who found the subpoenas to be “deeply troubling.”
“I cannot accept the majority’s conclusions that ‘this case does not concern separation of powers,’ and that there is ‘minimal at best’ risk of distraction to this and future Presidents from legislative subpoenas of this sort,” she wrote in her dissent.
The subpoena was originally filed by the House Intelligence and Financial Services Committees, a Democrat-led team, and in May U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos gave the banks the green light to turn over records concerning Trump, his family and his businesses.
Trump was quick to appeal that decision two days later.
It is one of many attempts to shed light on the president’s past finances, but it is most likely heading to the Supreme Court where Trump has already appealed two similar cases that involve subpoenas targeting his accounting firm, Mazars USA.
The Supreme Court has not yet decided if it will hear either of those cases (one from the House Oversight Committee and another from New York state prosecutors), but a decision is expected soon.