Trump family members in tax records case to remain secret

The identities of the Trump family members whose tax returns are held by Deutsche Bank AG will remain secret after news organizations lost a bid to unseal a federal court filing from the company detailing the financial records it holds.

Deutsche Bank said in the filing in August that it had tax returns requested by U.S. lawmakers seeking financial information about President Donald Trump and his family. Last month, the bank had said it had tax returns filed by two members of Trump’s family but declined to give their names.

A panel of appeals court judges in Manhattan said on Thursday that the press has the right to intervene to seek the unsealing of documents. But because the returns held by Deutsche Bank aren’t those of the president, the judges said, they aren’t relevant to any issue the court has to decide, so the filing must remain under seal. The court still has to decide whether the banks must comply with the subpoenas.

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office

The ruling comes six weeks after a federal judge ordered Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial Corp. to say whether they had the president’s tax returns and as House Democrats conduct an impeachment inquiry. Capital One said it didn’t have the records being sought.

The Deutsche Bank case began when the Democrat-led House of Representatives issued subpoenas for the financial records of several members of the Trump family, including both the president’s adult sons and his daughter Ivanka, citing the need to determine whether the Kremlin had leverage over Trump. The suit by Trump to stop the banks from complying with the subpoenas is part of a broader effort by the president to push back at House investigations as he runs for re-election next year.

Trump is seeking to reverse a lower-court ruling that denied his request to block the banks from complying with subpoenas issued by two House committees. The case is one of several testing the power of Congress to compel production of a sitting president’s financial records in the name of oversight.

The case is Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG, 19-1540, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).