A NY federal appeals court ruled Tuesday morning that Deutsche Bank must turn over copies of President Donald Trump's financial records subpoenaed by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees, marking the latest blow to the president's effort to keep his financial records private.
A panel of 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges said two banks, Deutsche Bank and Capital One, should comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees seeking records related to Trump's business ventures.
"We believe the subpoena is invalid as issued".
Trump had sued the two banks in an effort to prevent the disclosure of his financial records.
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".
The appeals court was reviewing a district court decision from May that cleared the way for the House subpoenas.
Following a motion from media organizations including The Washington Post and CNN to have the name of the person or organization made public, Deutsche Bank told the appeals court it does not have Trump's tax returns.
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The president is already expected to take his fight to keep his tax records secret to the Supreme Court as well. He broke with tradition by not releasing his tax returns as a candidate in 2016 and as president.
Deutsche Bank has always been a principal lender for Trump's real estate business. A 2017 disclosure form showed that Trump had at least US$130 million of liabilities to the bank.
"We have recognized that this loss of privacy is irreparable", the court said.
Lawyers for the House committees, both of which are controlled by Democrats, say they need access to documents from the banks to investigate possible "foreign influence in the USA political process" and possible money laundering from overseas.
The Financial Services Committee subpoenaed Virginia-based Capital One, seeking records related to the Trump Organization's hotel business. That said, Deutsche Bank has indicated that it is not in possession of Trump's tax returns. It notes, among other things, that the congressional 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".
Newman was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. Judge Debra Livingston, also appointed by Bush, dissented in part.
The 2nd Circuit agreed though it said the lower court should implement a procedure protecting sensitive personal information.