Deutsche Bank Tells Court It Has Trump Tax Returns Sought by Congress
By Rebecca Ballhaus and Corinne Ramey
Deutsche Bank AG, for decades President Trump's primary lender,
has copies of tax returns sought under a congressional subpoena for
the president and his family's financial information, the bank told
a federal appeals court on Tuesday.
Redactions in the letter Deutsche Bank filed on Tuesday conceal
whether they have the president's returns or those of others named
in the subpoena.
The House Intelligence and Financial Services committees in
April subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for documents and financial records
-- including tax returns -- related to Mr. Trump, Donald Trump Jr.,
Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump and various business entities they own
spanning the last decade.
The same month, Mr. Trump and his family sued Deutsche Bank and
Capital One Financial Corp., another bank subpoenaed by the House
committees for the same information, in an attempt to block the
banks from complying with the subpoenas.
In May, after a hearing in New York, U.S. District Judge Edgardo
Ramos ruled that Mr. Trump couldn't temporarily block the subpoenas
while the case is being decided. Judge Ramos, who was appointed by
President Obama, said the subpoenas were a legitimate use of
Mr. Trump's lawyers appealed the district court ruling, and the
Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hasn't yet ruled on the
lawsuit. The House Intelligence Committee declined to comment on
ongoing litigation, and the House Financial Services Committee
didn't respond to a request for comment. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for
the president, called the subpoena unconstitutional and said, "We
will continue in Court." The Trump Organization didn't respond to a
request for comment.
The bank's disclosure that it has tax returns responsive the
congressional subpoenas raises the stakes for the already heated
court battle. Since Democrats took over control of the House in
January, they have been trying to obtain the president's tax
returns. Mr. Trump in 2016 broke with four decades of precedent for
presidential candidates and declined to release his tax
In July, the House Ways and Means Committee sued the Treasury
Department and the Internal Revenue Service for the president's tax
returns. In a separate dispute, the president sued that committee
and New York state officials in an attempt to block his state tax
returns from being turned over to the panel.
Lawyers for Mr. Trump have argued the subpoenas target banks
that his family and businesses used for private affairs long before
his election. They said the subpoenas, which they view as overly
broad, amount to a law-enforcement investigation that belongs in
the executive branch.
"This is not a case that simply pushes the limits of Congress's
ability to compel the production of sensitive, private financial
records; it is an attempt to override those limits and insulate
Congress's subpoena power from any meaningful review," lawyers
representing Mr. Trump and his businesses wrote in court papers
filed with the appeals court.
Lawyers representing the House committees have said the
investigations are within the scope of Congressional authority.
"The Financial Services Committee subpoenaed documents from
Deutsche Bank and Capital One that will identify any failures in
the banks' practices or anti-money laundering programs, including
whether any illicit transactions related to Mr. Trump, his family,
or his businesses -- longtime clients of those banks," House
lawyers wrote in July.
In court papers, the banks have said they took no position on
During arguments before judges from the Second Circuit last
week, lawyers for the two banks declined to answer questions about
whether they were in possession of Mr. Trump's tax returns. The
court ordered that both banks file a letter by Tuesday detailing if
they possess tax returns from the individuals and entities in
question. Capital One said it doesn't have tax returns sought by
Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest lender, has for decades had a
relationship with Mr. Trump and his businesses and has been the
president's primary bank. Since 1998, the bank has led or
participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies
affiliated with Mr. Trump, The Wall Street Journal has
Public disclosures during his candidacy showed borrowings from
Deutsche Bank of more than $300 million by entities affiliated with
Mr. Trump, including two 2012 mortgages -- one valued at more than
$50 million and the other at between $5 million and $25 million --
for the Trump National Doral Miami, a Florida golf resort where Mr.
Trump has said he wants to host next year's Group of Seven
Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com and
Corinne Ramey at Corinne.Ramey@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 27, 2019 19:12 ET (23:12 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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