In his blockbuster interview with the New York Times Wednesday, Donald Trump issued a veiled threat to Special Counsel Robert Mueller to stay away from his personal finances – or else. Of course, that must have been a big red arrow to the special counsel pointing ‘Look Here.’
In 1998, Trump’s business was in big trouble. He was running short on money, and U.S. banks wanted nothing to do with him. His casino bankruptcies made him unwelcome on Wall Street.
At the time, Mike Offit had just left Goldman Sachs to take a job with Deutsche Bank. His top responsibility was to snag big-name commercial real estate developers. The timing was perfect. Real estate firm Cooper-Horowitz partner Rob Horowitz came to Offit with an idea. How about working with Trump?
The New York Times reported what Offit recalled in a recent interview:
‘My reaction was, why wouldn’t I? There was some resistance from management because of Donald’s reputation, but I told them that our loan would be wildly overly collateralized even in the worst-case scenario.’
When Trump was $300 million short to build Trump World Tower in New York, Offit fixed the problem. He found another German bank perfectly willing to loan Trump the money. Of course, that was after Offit assured them that Deutsche Bank would take over the loan as soon as the building was complete. Offit told the New York Times:
‘We were all amazed he managed to get that.’
Trump’s wealth manager at Deutsche Bank was Rosemary Vrablic. She specialized in lending to real estate developers and was willing to take the risks inherent to commercial real estate. Horowitz did not work with Vrablic in any private wealth management loans.
The president told reporters to talk to Rosemary Vrablic, if they wanted to know about his banking activities, which the New York Times reported:
‘Why don’t you call the head of Deutsche Bank? Her name is Rosemary Vrablic. She is the boss.’
Deutsche Bank contacted the U.S. federal investigators, to supply Special Counsel Mueller with information about Trump’s accounts. Mueller is in charge of the federal investigation into the Trump-Russia link. New York regulators also requested Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management division hand over Trump’s records. They were particularly concerned about his personal guarantees for loans.
Deutsche Bank loaned Trump up to $640 million in the mid 2000’s for the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. During the 2008 Great Recession, the president fell behind in his payments. He decided it would be a good idea to sue the bank to prevent paying his personal guarantee of $40 million.
Investigators caught Deutsche Bank in a money laundering scheme, so the bank paid New York and U.K. regulators over $600 million in fines. Russians oligarchs have allegedly laundered up to $10 billion through Deutsche Bank and its branches.
Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev had a large share of Deutsche Bank’s holdings. He was the one who bought a Trump-owned estate in Florida in 2015 and netted the president tens of millions of dollars in profit.
Check out this video about the Deutsche Bank money laundering:
— Lauren Werner (@LaurenWern) March 31, 2017
H/T: New York Times.