WASHINGTON – Deutsche Bank told a federal appeals court in a letter revealed on Thursday that it does not hold President Donald Trump’s tax returns.
The news comes as a setback for House Democrats pushing to obtain Trump’s tax returns, and adds to the mystery of whose tax returns the bank has that it says could still be revealed as part of the investigation into Trump.
Earlier this year, the House had subpoenaed the bank for financial documents for Trump and his children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump — as well as two redacted names or entities and for their immediate family members. Court filings show that the House also subpoenaed financial documents related to Trump-owned entities, but those subpoenas don’t include tax returns. The tax returns the bank possesses have been redacted in court filings in order not to reveal the names of the individuals involved.
Last month, media organizations, including CNN, sued for the names to be released in the redacted court filings.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the request on Thursday, saying that the bank told the court in a letter that “the only tax returns it has for individuals or entities named in the subpoenas are not those of the President.”
A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank declined to comment but referred CNN to a previous statement, which said the bank remains “committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”
In a court filing last month, the bank said it had the tax returns of two individuals that could be turned over to the House of Representatives under a subpoena focused on Trump, if a court orders it.
Though Deutsche Bank wouldn’t say publicly in August whether it had Trump’s tax returns, it did acknowledge that the House would see people’s tax returns if it was ordered to fulfill the subpoena, and that it has tax returns of “immediate family” of those named in the subpoena.
The bank also argued at the time that there are “statutory, contractual, and privacy concerns” that have made it reluctant to name whose tax returns it has that would fall under the subpoena.
Trump previously lost his challenge at the trial-court level. The case is one among several where the President is challenging various House committees’ requests for records of his financial history.