An attorney for Deutsche Bank stood his ground and would not even divulge whether the institution has President Donald Trump’s tax returns, despite persistent questioning by a three-judge panel presiding over the president’s request to throw out the congressional subpoenas for 10 years of financial records of him and his family, according to The New York Post.
“Does the bank have the tax returns?” United States Circuit Judge Jon Newman, of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, asked Deutsche Bank lawyer Raphael Prober Friday according to the Post.
“That, unfortunately, is not a question we’re able to address,” Prober responded, beginning the back and forth questioning from the panel, who asked him the same question on multiple occasions, attempting to solicit a firm answer. Capital One lawyer James Murphy also refused to answer the question.
At one point Judge Peter Hall, who seemed exasperated, finally asked, sarcastically: “If we want an answer to that question, do we have to go to a court and seek an order?”
“If you do them, we have to worry about them,” Hall said.
According to the Post, “The panel finally decided it would give the lawyers 48 hours to file a letter under seal stating whether they were in possession of the long-sought documents — though both Prober and Murphy remained unclear on whether they would actually answer the question in their submission.”
Department of Justice attorney Patrick Strawbridge argued that Congress was overstepping its purview in asking for the documents, and had moved into a territory governed by law enforcement, calling this “the broadest possible subpoena ever served that targets a sitting president,” the Post reported.
“The real object does appear to be law enforcement,” Strawbridge told the panel. “I do not think they have the legitimate legislative purpose that validate these subpoenas.”
However, general counsel Douglas Letter rebutted their statements saying that Congress needed the records to determine “how the money is flowing and why the money is flowing.”
“We’re trying to figure out if Mr. Trump is under the influence of the Saudis or the Russians,” Letter said.
The panel has decided to not rule immediately.
Written by Savannah Pointer.