Appeals Court Orders 2 Banks To Turn Over Trump Financial Documents To Congress
A three-member panel of judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has handed President Donald Trump another setback in his effort to conceal his financial records from public scrutiny. It has directed Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp. to hand over Trump’s financial records over to Congress. The Appellate Court has instructed the multinational banks to comply with the Congressional subpoenas issued to them by two House Committees concerning disclosure of Trump’s bank records.
Trump had sued the two big banks earlier to prevent them from disclosing his financial records. Trump’s lawyers will certainly appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court in a last-ditch bid to prevent their client’s record from going public.
The subpoenas were issued months before the House Democrats began an inquiry in September into whether there were grounds to impeach Trump over his request to Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
In subpoenas issued in April, the House Financial Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee asked Deutsche Bank for records of Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization. Lawmakers have said the requests are part of a wider investigation into money laundering and foreign influence over U.S. politics. The Financial Services Committee subpoenaed Capital One in April, seeking records related to the Trump Organization’s hotel business.
The three-member panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals gave a 2-1 majority ruling to enforce the two House Committees subpoenas on the banks. The appellate court judges said that the congressional investigations “substantially overbalance the privacy interests invaded by disclosure of financial documents.”
A 2017 disclosure form showed Trump owed over $130 million to Deutsche Bank. Congressional investigators had already identified failures in Deutsche Bank’s money-laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs.
The two banks in question refused to comment on the matter.
Trump did not release his tax returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 and afterward as president. In other legal cases, Trump sought to thwart the attempts of the House Democrats from obtaining his tax and financial records.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on December 13 whether it will overturn the ruling of the lower courts that ordered Trump to hand over his individual as well as the corporate tax returns of his accounting firm Mazars, LLP from 2011 to 2018 to local prosecutors in New York, who were conducting a criminal investigation.