Court ruling allows House to enforce subpoenas demanding Trump's tax returns

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

A federal appeals court in NY handed President Donald Trump another legal defeat, ruling Tuesday that Congress can see his banking records for investigations into possible foreign influence in US politics or other misdeeds.

House Democrats, now in the midst of an impeachment inquiry against the president, hope the extensive financial records detail Trump's income, partners, business deals and any potential ties to foreign governments or illegal activity, according to the Times.

The high court has given the president until December 5 to file an appeal to a lower court ruling directing financial institutions to turn over the documents. Federal appeals courts have ruled House Democrats and a Manhattan grand jury can review Trump's tax returns from Mazars USA, his longtime accounting firm.

President George W. Bush nominees Judge Peter Hall and Judge Debra Ann Livingston joined in the opinion.

Trump and several members of his family sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One this year seeking to block them from responding to the subpoenas issued by House Democrats, which they said had "no legitimate or legislative objective".

In a statement, Deutsche Bank said, "We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations".

The committees, she said, "affirmed a willingness to negotiate on an expedited basis" in oral arguments "if requested by this court".

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Last month, he said he would publish information about his finances before next year's presidential election without specifying which documents he would release.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, though, said the lower court should ensure sensitive personal information is protected and is giving the parties a chance to object to the disclosure of specific documents, according to The Associated Press.

Trump's personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, suggested the next step will be an appeal to the Supreme Court. Congress didn't dispute the claim but contended the provision didn't apply to tax returns held by Deutsche Bank if the bank didn't get the returns from the IRS.

The appeals court said Tuesday that the banks must begin turning over most of the documents in daily batches beginning in one week.

Trump has sought to keep his financial and tax records private.

Deutsche Bank, a German banking giant, has been a major lender to both the Trump Organization and Kushner Companies, which previously was run by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now a presidential adviser.

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