(AP/Getty/Salon)

Deutsche Bank confirms it has some of Trump family's tax returns

Though it is not clear which Trump's tax returns it has, as names were redacted from the filing


Shira Tarlo
August 27, 2019 11:02PM (UTC)

Deutsche Bank confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that it has tax returns of at least one member of President Donald Trump's family, but redacted any identifying information.

The bank revealed this in a letter filed Tuesday to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. It said it has tax returns, in either draft or as-filed form, relating to a subpoena from House Democrats seeking the president's financial information.

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Deutsche Bank also said it has "such documents related to parties not named it the subpoenas but who may constitute 'immediately family' within the definition provided by the subpoenas."

In a separate letter sent to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, an attorney for Capital One said the company does not possess the tax returns of any individuals named in the subpoena. The company did not mention whether it has the tax returns of individuals in Trump's orbit who are not mentioned in the subpoena.

In this case, House Democrats seek financial records from Deutsche Bank for Trump; his children, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump; immediate family members; the Trump Organization, trust and other Trump-controlled business entities. Lawmakers also requested the tax returns of two people or entities whose names are kept under seal.

The letters from Deutsche Bank and Capital One come days after the financial institutions refused to reveal whether they had copies of the president's tax returns during arguments before the Second Circuit last week, arguing they are barred by "contractual and statutory obligations."

The case made its way to the appeals court after Trump appealed a lower court's decision that said lawmakers were within their rights to request the president's financial records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

The House Financial Services Committee and Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and Capital One earlier this year. The panels requested a cache of financial records related to Trump's family and his businesses, which they argued they need to examine the "potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes," including the president's financial relationships with foreign powers, such as Russia.

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Trump's attorney, Patrick Strawbridge, claimed the subpoenas "transgress the limits" of Congress' power of investigation and violate the privacy rights of the president and his family.

Lawyers for House Democrats pushed back against those assertions, arguing in court filings that Congress was conducting a "legitimate" investigation that focuses on the entire banking industry, rather than just the president. They argued that Trump and his businesses "have continually engaged in stonewalling intended to obstruct and undermine these inquiries."

This is not the only inquiry directed at revealing the financial information of Trump, who bucked decades of tradition when he refused to release them during the 2016 election cycle. Since then, Democrats in Congress have been on a hunt for more information about his finances.

In April, the House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena to Mazars USA — an accounting firm used by the president and his associates to prepare financial statements — to corroborate allegations made by Michael Cohen, the attorney who spent many years as Trump's personal "fixer." Cohen testified to Congress in February that Trump at times inflated his assets to earn a spot on the Forbes list of wealthiest people, then deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

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Trump's legal team has argued the subpoena for records from Mazars USA "lacks any legitimate legislative purpose, is an abuse of power and is just another example of overreach by the president's political opponents."

That subpoena was upheld by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. The president's legal team is seeking to reverse the decision, which is currently under review by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Merrick Garland, the Obama-nominated judge Senate Republicans refused to consider for the Supreme Court, serves as the chief judge at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

New York Attorney General Letitia James has also subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank for records related to the financing of four major Trump Organization projects and a failed effort to buy the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

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Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

MORE FROM Shira TarloFOLLOW @shiratarlo

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