There are few things in this world that Donald Trump fears more than having his tax returns released for perusal by the public, federal investigators, and congressional committees. He’s so terrified of those tax documents seeing the light of day that he recently filed suit to keep his biggest creditor, Deutsche Bank of Germany, from complying with subpoenas.
But it appears that lawsuit may have been too little and far too late.
The New York Times notes that Deutsche Bank does indeed have documents that would expose Trump to the kind of oversight and scrutiny that terrifies him, and that’s exactly what two congressional committees are trying to get hold of:
“The rich trove of records held by Deutsche Bank includes internal corporate documents, descriptions of the value of Mr. Trump’s assets, and portions of his personal and business tax returns. The subpoena, issued April 15, casts a wide net for documents related to Mr. Trump’s businesses and other entities, including family trusts.”
And it turns out that Deutsche Bank wasted no time putting the information together after what’s known as a “friendly” subpoena was issued by the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees. A “friendly” subpoena means the bank was happy to provide the documentation, but wanted a formal subpoena for legal reasons:
“Bank officials have nonetheless compiled reams of materials to hand over. Included in those documents are multiple pages from each of Mr. Trump’s annual federal tax returns, which the bank received before lending him hundreds of millions of dollars for the Doral golf resort in Florida and the Old Post Office hotel project in Washington, according to current and former bank employees.”
More troubling for the president is that the files have probably already been transmitted to the two committees via computer. And by doing so they could have skirted the law ever so slightly (much like Trump has done his entire life) by sending the documents via email. Or they could have parked them on a neutral site known only to them and investigators. Either way, that means Trump’s taxes are now being pored over. Maxine Waters, chair of the Financial Services Committee, said in late March the German bank was already handing over documents. That was before Trump filed suit.
If you’re wondering why Deutsche Bank would turn on a valued customer like Donald Trump, it might have something to do with Trump’s being a deadbeat:
“Despite the amiable history between Mr. Trump and Deutsche Bank, the lawsuit is not the first court fight between them. In fall 2008, Mr. Trump defaulted on a loan from Deutsche Bank, then sued it, claiming it had caused the financial crisis and engaged in predatory lending against him. Deutsche Bank responded by suing Mr. Trump, demanding that he immediately repay the portion of the loan, $40 million, that he had personally guaranteed.”
Karma is starting to catch up with Donald Trump. And it could wind up destroying both his presidency and his business.