Although Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is complete, President Donald Trump and his associates still have a lot more investigative threads to worry about. According to CNN, Germany’s Deutsche Bank has begun transmitting Trump-related records to New York Attorney General Letitia James, who subpoenaed a wide range of such material last month. The probe centers on questions of possible fraud the president committed, and to that end, the documentation Deutsche Bank is producing covers financing for a handful of major Trump projects including his hotels in D.C. and Chicago, his golf course in Miami, and his ultimately abandoned effort to purchase the Buffalo Bills football team. They’re one of the few lenders to have stuck with Trump in the face of financial turmoil.
James’ investigation got kickstarted thanks to the public testimony former longtime Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen offered to the House Oversight Committee. He insisted at the time that his former employer had repeatedly inflated his assets, including via documentation transmitted to banks, which constitutes apparent fraud. Cohen produced a number of copies of the material he pointed to.
James’ inquiry is not the only one underway in the wake of his revelations. Just recently, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) subpoenaed an array of Trump-related documents from his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA, which helped prepare at least some of the fraudulent documents Cohen produced. Sometimes, they included a disclaimer that they couldn’t vouch for the numbers contained within — and sometimes it was absent, adding to the weight of the apparent fraud. The disclaimer was notably absent from a “Summary of Net Worth” shared with Deutsche Bank in connection to the Bills gambit.
Elsewhere, the documents contained the whole range from outright lies to gross misrepresentations. For instance, one piece from 2011 said that Trump had 24 more home lots to sell than were actually there at his golf course in southern California. That “error” translates to a claim of over $70 million in future revenue that in reality, he did not have lined up. On another front, the documents at times ignored Trump hotels in Chicago and Las Vegas that had substantive mortgages taken out on them, meaning that the overall value of the Trump business could be perceived as significantly better than reality based on the document alone.
Besides the already mentioned investigations centering on questions like possible bank fraud, there are more looming fraud allegations. The New York state Department of Financial Services reportedly subpoenaed longtime Trump insurer Aon earlier this year to see whether any of the fraudulent documents had been used to procure lower premiums for the Trump family business. Additionally, the president has been alleged to have used possibly illegal tactics to get out of significant tax bills, meaning the sitting president of the United States stands accused of bank, insurance, and tax fraud.
In other words, there are a lot more issues with the current administration than Donald Trump’s fondness for Russia and even his claimed impeachable offense of obstruction of justice.
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