President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order establishing regulatory reform officers and task forces in US agencies in Washington, DC on February 24, 2017.
Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Trump’s desperate campaign to hide his finances starts to unravel

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/22/19, 9:00 PM ET

Trump losses mount as cracks form in dam of secrecy

Rachel Maddow looks at how Donald Trump has steadily lost ground in his fight to keep his finances, campaign, and administration opaque to oversight and investigation.
When Donald Trump and his team refused to share information about the president’s financial history with Congress, Democratic lawmakers started looking for alternative routes to the same goal. In late April, House Intelligence and Financial Services committees issued subpoenas to financial institutions – including Deutsche Bank – to obtain the materials Trump is desperate to hide.

The president and his lawyers quickly filed suit to block the subpoena. Late yesterday, that lawsuit failed.

A federal judge dealt a blow to President Donald Trump on Wednesday, ruling that two banks can hand over his financial documents in response to congressional subpoenas. […]

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos said he disagrees with the arguments from the Trump family attorneys that the subpoenas don’t have a legitimate legislative purpose.

Deutsche Bank said in a statement after the ruling was issued that it has no intention of contesting the court order. “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” the statement read.

That, of course, is not what Team Trump wanted to hear. The president’s attorneys, hired specifically to help hide his finances, will appeal, but the ruling suggests their case simply has no merit.

Yesterday’s court ruling came just 24 hours after a different federal court rejected a similar effort to block a congressional subpoena sent to Mazars, Trump’s accounting firm.

Also yesterday, lawmakers in New York approved legislation that would give Congress access to the president’s state tax returns, which may not be identical to his federal returns, but would very likely shed important light on Trump’s financial history.

And in case that weren’t quite enough, NBC News reported late yesterday that Wells Fargo and TD Bank have complied with congressional subpoenas demanding information about their dealings with the Trump Organization.

As Rachel explained on last night’s show, these are just some of the major developments from the last two weeks related to the president’s failing efforts to hide information he doesn’t want Congress – or the public – to see.

There are very few things Donald Trump cares more about than hiding his tax returns and financial history, which is why he’s fought tooth and nail to keep them secret. It now appears he’s starting to lose that fight.

Donald Trump and Federal Courts

Trump's desperate campaign to hide his finances starts to unravel