When pressed by a panel of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, attorneys for Deutsche Bank and Capital One refused to say anything regarding President Donald Trump‘s tax returns.
Trump is currently in the process of appealing a district court ruling that would require the banks to hand over his financial records, as well as the financial records of his companies and his three eldest children. At the end of the Friday hearing, however, the judges asked whether or not the documents Trump is trying to protect contain his tax information.
“We’re not in a position to answer that question,” Raphael Prober, an attorney for Deutsche Bank replied, claiming that “contractual obligations” prevented him from revealing the contents of the documents.
“It is a fairly important question in this case,” Judge Jon O. Newman said in response.
The banks have since been ordered to address the situation via letter under seal within 48 hours. A Trump attorney, for good measure, would add that House Financial Services and Intelligence committees were overstepping their legal authority in issuing these subpoenas. Attorneys for both committees claimed that these documents were necessary for the members of each committee to do their jobs.
Democrats have suggested that the loans could be connected to Russian money-laundering; Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, a break from tradition, has only served to fuel their suspicions. Deutsche Bank is one of Trump and Jared Kushner‘s respective businesses’ biggest creditors, the Washington Post reported. According to public filings, Trump’s company has received nearly $400 million from Deutsche bank in four separate loans.
These files don’t show how much of these loans have been paid off, but they do show that a portion of each loan remains outstanding and that they’ve reportedly been used to renovate three Trump Properties located in Florida, Washington, and Chicago. It’s unclear how much the president has borrowed from Capital One.
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