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Deutsche Bank has tax returns but doesn't say publicly if they are Trump's

Washington(CNN) Deutsche Bank wouldn't say publicly on Tuesday whether it has President Donald Trump's tax returns. Yet the bank acknowledges the US House would see people's tax returns -- possibly even those of Trump family members -- if the bank fulfilled a subpoena related to Trump, according to a letter from the bank to a federal appeals court on Tuesday.

The bank's letter is the latest development in the House's slow march in seeking Trump's tax returns, and it brings into focus the possibility that Democrats leading the House could see the tax returns in short order if Congress wins the lawsuit.

In this case, the House seeks financial records from Deutsche Bank for Trump, his children Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, immediate family members, the Trump Organization, trust and other Trump-family-controlled entities, as well as two people or entities whose names are kept under seal. Trump is challenging the subpoenas of the banks in court, so the banks haven't had to turn over documents yet. Trump lost at the trial-court level, and the subpoenas are currently being considered by a federal appeals court in New York.

"Based on Deutsche Bank's current knowledge and the results of the extensive searches that have already been conducted, the Bank has in its possession tax returns," Deutsche Bank told the court Tuesday.

The bank named for the court whose tax returns would go to the House if the subpoena is fulfilled, but those names are redacted in the public court record.

The bank also has tax returns of "immediate family" of those named in the subpoena, which could be given to the House if the subpoena is upheld.

Capital One, separately, tells the court it does not have tax returns that would fall under another House subpoena related to Trump. Capital One was subpoenaed for Trump's trust, Trump Organization, hotel and other business financial records, and Trump is fighting that as well.

It's still not known whether the appeals court will allow the names in Deutsche Bank's letter to stay secret. The court hasn't decided whether the House's subpoenas are valid, either.

The bank, in its filing Tuesday, argued that there are "statutory, contractual, and privacy concerns" that have made it reluctant to name whose tax returns it has that would fall under the spring 2019 House subpoena.

The question of whether the banks had Trump's tax returns --and would be turning them over if the House subpoenas are allowed -- became a sticking point at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday.

A lawyer for Deutsche Bank initially wouldn't answer when asked if the embattled bank, known for lending to Trump, had the tax returns, when the court asked during oral arguments over the subpoenas. The case is one among several where Trump is challenging various House committees' requests for records of his financial history.

CNN's Sabrina Shulman contributed to this report.
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