Deutsche Bank reveals it has access to tax returns related to Trump congressional investigation

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Deutsche Bank revealed in a filing in a New York court Tuesday that tax returns are among the financial records the bank has that are related to a congressional probe which looks to obtain documents related to the President Donald Trump, his children and his businesses.

But the bank stopped short of saying conclusively it is in possession of the president’s personal returns. Deutsche was responding to a subpoena issued jointly by the House Financial Services and House Intelligence committees in April, which sought financial records from Deutsche Bank related to Trump and his children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump, as well as the Trump Organization and other financial entities.

The bank was replying to an order from the New York appeals court, which required Deutsche Bank and Capital One to disclose whether they have any copies of the president’s or his adult children’s returns.

The disclosure reveals a new avenue that congressional Democrats could use to pursue Trump’s tax documents — filings he has refused to make public despite earlier pledges and decades of tradition.

In the letter filed Tuesday, attorneys for Deutsche Bank wrote that the bank was in possession of “tax returns (in either draft or as filed form) responsive to the subpoenas for [redacted].”

“In addition, the Bank has such documents related to parties not named in the Subpoenas but who may constitute “immediate family” within the definition provided in the Subpoenas,” the letter reads.

Capital One, who was also subpoenaed and who also filed with the New York court on Tuesday, said in their filing that the bank “does not possess any tax returns responsive to the Capitol One Subpoena.”

Jay Sekulow, who serves as the president’s personal attorney, said Trump’s legal team will continue pursuing the case in court.

“Our position is precisely the same as it has been, the subpoena is unconstitutional,” Sekulow said. “We will continue in court.”

The two banks were asked by a 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals judge on Friday whether they had copies of Donald Trump’s tax returns. The banks acted cautiously because of concerns about its obligations to preserve the confidentiality of dealings with clients.

“Given the contractible obligation to our client, we cannot answer that question at this time … in an open courtroom,” said Raphael Proper, the attorney representing Deutsche Bank. “I think answering can run a foul.”

James Murphy, an attorney representing Capital One Bank, agreed to not respond to the judge’s question during a back and forth with Proper.

The banks were then ordered to submit the letters filed Tuesday. Taken together, Deutsche Bank and Capital One loaned Trump billions of dollars.

The filings Tuesday are part of an ongoing legal battle by House Democrats to secure access to Trump’s tax and finance records. House Democrats first subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and Capitol One Bank in April, and Trump’s lawyers quickly filed suit to block the banks from turning over these records.

Trump’s attorneys argued when filing their lawsuit that the subpoenas issued are “unlawful and illegitimate”.

“They seek information going back decades from anyone with even a tangential connection to the President, including children, minors and spouses,” an earlier statement from Trump’s legal team said. “Every citizen should be concerned about this sweeping, lawless, invasion of privacy.”

In May, a New York district judge ruled against Trump’s efforts to block the subpoena, and the case was heard in appellate court on Friday.

The appeals court has not yet issued a decision. But Deutsche’s filing means that if the House Democrats emerge successfully from the legal battle, Deutsche would have additional relevant documents to turn over. ABC News has previously reported that the bank has already begun turning over financial records related to its business with the president in response to a separate subpoena by the New York Attorney General’s Office.

House Democrats have employed multiple efforts to access Trump’s financial records. Other lawsuits seeking similar records are currently making their way through a Washington, D.C. court.

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