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

Donald Trump

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday handed President Donald Trump another defeat in his bid to keep his financial records secret, directing Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp to comply with subpoenas from congressional Democrats demanding the material.

In a 106-page ruling, the court said the House committees' "interests in pursuing their constitutional legislative function is a far more significant public interest than whatever public interest inheres in avoiding the risk of a Chief Executive's distraction arising from disclosure of documents reflecting his private financial transactions".

"The legislative purposes of the investigations concern national security and the integrity of elections", Newman wrote, while he also noting that the privacy interests concerning disclosure of Trump's private financial documents might "distract" the president's performance of his official duties.

Trump is expected to challenge the ruling. "In light of the Second Circuit decision, we are evaluating our next options including seeking review at the Supreme Court of the United States".

A district court should decide which documents fall into that category, allowing for Trump to make arguments about particular materials, the appellate judges said.

When House investigators first sought the records in April, before the start of the impeachment inquiry, they said the documents were necessary in order to probe "foreign influence in the US political process".

In the Deutsche Bank case, attorneys for the president's largest lender told the appeals court that it has tax returns for one person or organization that the subpoenas are seeking; however, identifying details were redacted.

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The subpoenas ask Deutsche Bank and Capital One for financial information about the president, his wife, children and his businesses stretching back almost a decade.

Trump's company has taken out about $364 million in loans from Deutsche Bank since 2012, according to public filings.

"That unusual circumstance adequately supports requests for information to determine whether proper banking procedures have been followed", the decision said. Trump, who's fought for years to keep detailed personal and business finances secret, sued the banks to block them from complying.

Deutsche Bank previously revealed that, while it has tax returns for some of Trump's children, it is not in the possession of the President's.

Earlier this year he said the "Radical Left Democrats want to relitigate this matter", even though he believed he won in 2016 "partially based on no tax returns while I am under audit. the voters didn't care".

The opinion also notes that Trump was subpoenaed for documents related to his personal dealings, and not his business in an official capacity.

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