The Friday request, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues that the injunction is needed to stave off the deadlines the committees set for the two banks to produce the requested documents.
Trump’s lawyers asked the federal judge to block the subpoenas until the court makes its final decision in the case.
“There will be no way to unring the bell once the Banks give Congress the requested information,” wrote Trump’s lawyers William S. Consovoy, Patrick Strawbridge and Marc Mukasey. “The Committees will have reviewed confidential documents that this Court may later determine were illegally subpoenaed.”
The attorneys then foreshadowed what could be a prolonged — and heated — legal struggle over the financial records of the president, his family and his business. If they didn’t get a preliminary injunction, they vowed, they’d appeal.
“Without [an injunction], Plaintiffs will be forced to seek the same relief from the Second Circuit and the Supreme Court,” the filing read.
Trump’s legal team has accused House Democrats of issuing the subpoenas to “harass” the president, claiming Reps. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairs of the Intelligence and Financial Services committees, respectively, are engaged in a political fishing expedition.
Legal experts, however, said the courts probably wouldn’t stand in the way of congressional oversight. If anything, they predicted, the legal challenges could delay the committees’ investigations.
The claim that the subpoenas were politically motivated is a “frivolous argument, even if it’s true,” Stanford law professor David Alan Sklansky told The Washington Post this week. “That is not a basis for quashing a subpoena.”
Schiff and Waters said in a statement that the lawsuit was “another demonstration of the depths to which President Trump will go to obstruct Congress’s constitutional oversight authority.”
The lawsuit is similar to another one that Trump filed, on April 22, against his own accounting firm, Mazars USA. That suit also seeks to stop the firm from complying with a subpoena — in that case, from the House Oversight Committee.
Isaac Stanley-Becker and David A. Fahrenthold contributed to this report.