After Donald Trump went bankrupt multiple times, American banks threw up their hands and turned off the welcome sign. That was when the real estate mogul turned to Deutsche Bank for loans. He has a strange relationship with this bank. At one point he defaulted on a Deutsche Bank loan. Then, he actually had the nerve to sue the bank in order to get a reduced repayment amount. Plus, he lied on his financial papers by grossly inflating his worth. The bank knew, and still they do business with the president. Why?
The House’s Intelligence and Financial Services Committees issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank for Trump’s personal and business records in search of an answer. Relatively recently, Deutsche Bank got in trouble for money laundering Russian and Eastern European countries’ money. That might be part of the answer. Another part might just be as simple as the bank had little business in the U.S. and wanted to expand its market, so they put up with Trump.
Chair of the powerful Financial Services Committee Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) was one of the first to call for Trump’s impeachment. Waters queried bank executives about whether they had internal reviews.
The committees also requested Trump’s financial documents from other financial institutions. The included Citigroup, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase and were also related to money laundering.
Some said there might be a Russian money-laundering connection. Michael Corbat from Citigroup told the committee chair he was unable to comment due to “an ongoing investigation.” Waters said, according to The New York Times:
‘THE POTENTIAL USE OF THE U.S. FINANCIAL SYSTEM FOR ILLICIT PURPOSES IS A VERY SERIOUS CONCERN. (THE COMMITTEE WAS) EXPLORING THESE MATTERS, INCLUDING AS THEY MAY INVOLVE THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ASSOCIATES, AS THOROUGHLY AS POSSIBLE PURSUANT TO ITS OVERSIGHT AUTHORITY, AND WILL FOLLOW THE FACTS WHEREVER THEY MAY LEAD US.’
Former Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice Anthony Kennedy’s son worked for Deutsche Bank. The president’s daughter Ivanka Trump went to Kennedy and urged him to retire so that the president could install SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Democrats have tried various routes to obtain Trump’s financial records, including his tax returns. They have been interested in the president, his family business (the Trump Organization), all related entities, and his family charitable foundation.
Donald Trump’s middle son Eric Trump released a statement that read that the subpoena was “an unprecedented abuse of power.” Of course, it was not. The president’s son has been helping manage the Trump businesses and wrote:
‘THIS SUBPOENA IS AN UNPRECEDENTED ABUSE OF POWER AND SIMPLY THE LATEST ATTEMPT BY HOUSE DEMOCRATS TO ATTACK THE PRESIDENT AND OUR FAMILY FOR POLITICAL GAIN. (THE SUBPOENAS) SET A HORRIBLE PRECEDENT FOR ALL TAXPAYERS.’
Waters dug down deep when she drilled chief executive of more than one bank about any Russian interactions:
‘MUCH HAS BEEN REPORTED ABOUT HOW DEUTSCHE BANK HAS BEEN A PATHWAY FOR CRIMINALS, KLEPTOCRATS AND ALLIES OF MR. PUTIN TO MOVE ILLICIT FUNDS OUT OF RUSSIA. BUT RECENT INFORMATION SHOWS THAT SOME OF YOUR INSTITUTIONS HAVE ALSO BEEN PROVIDING SERVICES FOR RUSSIAN INDIVIDUALS OR ENTITIES THAT MAY BE ENGAGING IN QUESTIONABLE TRANSACTIONS.’
Deutsche Bank did not attend the committees’ hearings.
Deutsche Bank spokesperson Kerrie McHugh said that her bank was complying with the two committees:
‘(DEUTSCHE BANK WAS) ENGAGED IN A PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE (WITH COMMITTEES). WE REMAIN COMMITTED TO PROVIDING APPROPRIATE INFORMATION TO ALL AUTHORIZED INVESTIGATIONS IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH OUR LEGAL OBLIGATIONS.’