For as long as House Democrats have been battling in court to get their hands on Donald Trump’s financial records, Deutsche Bank has been caught in the middle of it all. It’s widely suspected that Russia has been using the bank to launder money to Trump for years. In addition, there have been reports that Deutsche Bank may have Trump’s tax returns.
Earlier this week, the courts ruled that Deutsche Bank must reveal whether or not it does indeed have Donald Trump’s tax returns. Just now, within the past few minutes, Deutsche went ahead and confirmed that it does have Trump’s tax returns, according to NY Times reporter Susanne Craig. The bank also confirmed that it has tax returns for one or more unnamed members of Trump’s “immediate family.” So why is this such a big deal?
Donald Trump has control of the Treasury Department, which means that directly obtaining his tax returns was always going to be a long and grinding process that might never end up happening. But now that it turns out Deutsche Bank has Trump’s tax returns, House Democrats just have to get the courts to order Deutsche to turn them over. At that point Deutsche will likely do it, in order to avoid whatever financial or contempt penalties that courts might dish out.
In other words, House Democrats have now essentially won this issue. If Deutsche Bank were going to lay down on the proverbial tracks for Donald Trump, it would have done so by refusing to acknowledge that it even has his tax returns. Now it’s just a matter of time before the courts – which do tend to move glacially on these things – give the order, and Deutsche turns them over. There will be literally nothing Trump can do to stop this, because he doesn’t control the courts. It’s now probable that House Democrats will have Trump’s tax returns within months, and almost guaranteed that they’ll have them before the 2020 election.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report