Deutsche Bank agrees to hand over Trump records to investigators — and they may contain Russia probe info
Deutsche Bank has agreed to hand over records of its financial dealings with President Donald Trump after months of stalling and insistence that the records are confidential and privileged information.
Vanity Fair‘s Bess Levin wrote on Thursday that the German company was one of the last banks on Wall Street willing to do business with Trump after his long line of bankruptcies and unpaid debts.
Deutsche Bank loaned Trump hundreds of millions of dollars when no one else would. Now banking regulators are questioning why the banking giant would take on that kind of risk and taking a closer look at the relationship between Trump and Deutsche Bank — which, like the president, has significant ties to the Russian oligarchy.
The New York Times reported that investigators are “reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit . . . to [see] if the loans might expose the bank to heightened risk.”
Deutsche Bank executives, The Guardian said, are bracing for subpoenas from former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump, which is reportedly expanding to include Trump’s ties to Russian money laundering and organized crime.
Over the last 20 years, Levin said, the German bank has loaned Trump more than a billion dollars, in spite of the fact that he sued the company when he fell behind on payments on a $630 million loan to build the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.
Trump wound up taking out another Deutsche Bank loan from the wealth management division to pay off the earlier loan after he first sued the bank for its role in the U.S. financial crisis and getting counter-sued in return.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are also Deutsche Bank lending clients, as well as members of Kushner’s family.
Investigators are also looking into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Russian state-owned bank Vnesheconombank, whose chief executive Kushner met with and forgot to mention on his security clearance application.
In response to inquiries by Congressional Democrats, initially Deutsche Bank balked, citing privacy laws. However, on Wednesday the company agreed to comply with investigators.