In what must be regarded as one of the most arrogant recent acts committed by banks operating in the United States, attorneys for Deutsche Bank and Capital One flatly refused to disclose to the judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals whether they have, in their records, copies of President Donald Trump or Trump Organization tax returns. The banks failed to cite any recognized privilege or statutory authority for their refusal, claiming instead some vague "contractual obligation," to their client. Their conduct could qualify as Contempt of Court.
One of the judges mentioned that they might enter an order of court requiring an answer. The issues came up during oral argument.The attorneys were ordered to provide letters to the Court, under seal, within 48 hours, indicating whether their clients held those tax returns.
The appeal is from a District Court decision ordering the two banks to comply with the subpoenas, and deliver their records on Trump to the plaintiff, the House of Representatives. Deutsche Bank reportedly is owed more that $130m by Trump and the Trump Organization. It is not known what role Capital One has played in lending to Trump; all the major lenders in the US have reportedly red-lined the Trump group after seven bankruptcies.
An attorney for the House of Representatives stated that one of the purposes of the subpoenas is to inquire into possible money laundering activities, and to determine the President's financial dealings with foreign powers, especially Russia.
For those readers who wanted to know which Deutsche Bank attorney actually told the three judge appellate panel that the bank's "contractual & statutory obligations" precluded it from advising the Court whether it possessed Trump tax returns, it was Rafael Prober.
* Some sources from Russian claim that Trump owes Deutsche Bank more than two billion dollars.
** Donald Trump and the Trump Organization were the subjects of an MSNBC special in November of 2017 pertaining to massive money laundering in the Republic of Panama at the "Trump International Ocean Club Hotel", which can be viewed in the attached link and video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v6o_MNzxHA
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst