Deutsche Bank Tells Court It Has Trump-Related Tax Returns Sought by Congress (#GotBitcoin?)
House Intelligence and Financial Services committees in April subpoenaed bank for documents and financial records. Deutsche Bank Tells Court It Has Trump-Related Tax Returns Sought by Congress (#GotBitcoin?)
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 congressional authority.
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 to 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 returns.
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 the matter.
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 the subpoena.
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 reported.
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 summit.
Deutsche Bank Doesn’t Have Trump’s Tax Returns, Appeals Court Says
Ruling came in broader legal battle involving congressional subpoenas to banks for president’s financial information.
Deutsche Bank AG , President Trump’s longtime lender, doesn’t have the president’s tax returns that were requested by congressional subpoenas, a federal appeals court said Thursday after reviewing an unredacted letter filed by the bank.
The ruling, from the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, comes in response to a request by news organizations, including Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, to unseal that letter.
In the ruling, the three-judge panel denied the request to unseal the letter but commented on the redactions. “That letter reports that the only tax returns it has for individuals or entities named in the subpoenas are not those of the President,” U.S. Circuit Judge Jon Newman wrote.
In April, Mr. Trump and his family sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial Corp. in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas. The House Intelligence and Financial Services committees earlier that month had subpoenaed the banks for tax returns and financial records related to Mr. Trump, his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and their various business entities.
The district court judge declined to temporarily block the subpoenas, leading Mr. Trump to appeal. A decision on the subpoenas is currently pending before the appeals court.In a letter in August, lawyers for Deutsche Bank told the appeals court that it had tax returns for two people or entities sought by the subpoenas. Those two names were redacted in the public version of the letter, prompting speculation one of those returns could be the president’s.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on Thursday’s ruling beyond saying, “We remain committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”
A lawyer for Mr. Trump didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The Deutsche Bank case is one of several lawsuits over subpoenas for Mr. Trump’s tax returns currently making their way through the courts. Later this month, the same appeals court in New York is scheduled to hear arguments in a dispute between Mr. Trump and the Manhattan district attorney’s office over a subpoena for his tax returns and other financial information.
Trump Banker’s Deutsche Bank Exit Prompted by Property Deal
Rosemary Vrablic, the longtime banker for Donald Trump, left Deutsche Bank AG in December after an internal investigation found she engaged in “undisclosed activities” related to a real estate deal.
Vrablic was “permitted to resign” as a result of the probe, according to a disclosure by the bank on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s BrokerCheck service. The activities included “the purchase of the property from a client-managed entity, and the formation of an unapproved outside entity to hold the investment,” the bank said in the disclosure.
Vrablic’s colleague, Dominic Scalzi, also resigned in December for the same reason, according to a separate Finra disclosure.
A representative for Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank declined to comment beyond the information it shared with Finra, and Vrablic and Scalzi didn’t immediately respond to calls requesting comment. The New York Times reported the reason for Vrablic’s departure earlier Wednesday.
The firm in August began reviewing a real estate transaction between Vrablic and Scalzi and a company partly owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
Vrablic, who worked in the private-banking division, helped manage Trump’s relationship with the bank as it loaned hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump’s company over several years. That relationship subjected Deutsche Bank to pressure from lawmakers and prosecutors for information during Trump’s presidency.
Deutsche Bank cut ties with Trump in January following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol, but the former president still owes the bank more than $300 million. The total includes $125 million for Trump’s Doral golf resort in Miami due in 2023 and about $170 million for the Trump International Hotel in Washington due in 2024.
Vrablic, who grew up in the Bronx and then Scarsdale, New York, graduated from Fordham University in 1982 with an economics degree during the recession. The only job she could get was as a bank teller, according to David Enrich’s “Dark Towers,” which details the links between Trump and the German lender.
A chance meeting on a train with a Bank Leumi executive secured Vrablic a position on the Israeli bank’s credit-training group. A few years later she landed at Citicorp’s private-baking division, where she built a reputation providing large loans to wealthy New York real estate families.
Deutsche Bank recruited her in 2006 to bolster its private-banking division, handing Vrablic a guaranteed $5 million a year, according to Enrich’s book.
One of her clients was Jared Kushner, who after his marriage to Ivanka brought Trump and Vrablic together to provide financing, even as Trump was fighting with Deutsche Bank over another loan.
This made Vrablic a controversial figure within the bank. In 2012, Trump tapped Deutsche Bank to finance his acquisition of Doral against the objections of the lender’s investment bankers, the book details.
Deutsche Bank Tells Court,Deutsche Bank Tells Court