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‘Russian money laundering’: Democrats to investigate Trump’s Deutsche Bank connections

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Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives are working out which House panels will take the lead in investigating President Donald Trump’s business ties to Deutsche Bank, lawmakers and aides familiar with the plans told Reuters.

As the new Democratic House of Representatives majority launches a range of investigations into the Republican president and his businesses, the Intelligence Committee and Financial Services Committee are poised to dig into his ties with Deutsche, one of the world’s largest financial institutions.

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Democratic lawmakers’ aides are discussing how to divide up the investigative work among committees and prevent overlap on requesting documents, aides said.

Since U.S. voters on Nov. 6 shifted majority control of the House from the Republicans to the Democrats, the party has been promising to probe the first two years of Trump’s administration and possible conflicts of interest presented by his hotel, golf course and other ventures, as well as Trump family members.

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment. The White House in the past has referred questions about Trump businesses to the Trump Organization.

Officials at the Trump Organization could not immediately be reached for comment.

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A Deutsche Bank spokesman said: “Deutsche Bank takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations. Our recent record of cooperating with such investigations has been widely recognized by regulators. We intend to keep working in this spirit.”

The Financial Services Committee, chaired by Democrat Maxine Waters, has the broadest power to look into Trump’s relationship with Deutsche.

When the Republicans still controlled the House, Waters tried in 2017 to request documents from the bank on its dealings with Trump and his businesses, as well as information about potential Russian money laundering through the bank.

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But the bank told Congress that privacy laws prevented it from handing over such information without a formal subpoena. Committee Republicans ignored Waters’ request. As chairwoman, Waters can now issue subpoenas herself.

In recent weeks, Waters has been publicly quiet about her plans. In a speech on Monday on committee priorities, she made no mention of the bank. A Waters spokesman declined to comment.

Democratic aides outside the committee said Waters plans to move quietly on the Deutsche inquiry. She cannot begin formally issuing subpoenas until after the committee holds its first business meeting, expected by the end of January.

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Deutsche has extended millions of dollars in credit to the Trump Organization, making the bank one of few willing to lend extensively to Trump in the past decade.

A 2017 financial disclosure form showed liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of German-based Deutsche Bank AG.

House Intelligence Committee Democrats also want to investigate Trump and his Deutsche links, said three congressional officials familiar with committee discussions.

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A Judiciary Committee spokesman said it has been consulted.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball and Ginger Gibson; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Lisa Shumaker

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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