Was Russia lending money to Trump through Deutsche Bank?
Kremlin photo of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin

A CNN panel Tuesday discussed the fraud that was alleged in Michael Cohen's Congressional testimony weeks ago. Award-winning reporter and researcher David Cay Johnston walked through some of the things he has discovered about President Donald Trump's finances over the years.


The New York attorney general announced this week that her office will launch an investigation into possible bank fraud from Trump and Deutsche Bank.

"Well, if he actually got a loan he has signed documents under penalty of perjury," Johnston explained. "He didn't get the loan for the Bills partly because to buy the Bills he would have to put up a little over a billion dollars in cash, which he didn't have. That's how the rules are in the NFL."

The Trump biographer was talking about the president's failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills.

"But if this leads to other documents coming from Deutsche Bank that show he actually got loans on other occasions where he misstated his finances, then he's facing potential bank fraud, wire fraud charges," Johnston continued. "And one of the things we also learn from this is, was it really Deutsche Bank loaning him money over the years, or was Deutsche Bank acting on behalf of VTB, the Russian spy bank or some other Russian entity, and the risk was on those people or did they somehow privately guarantee it? There could be a lot there. Maybe there's nothing here. We don't know yet. "

Fordham law Professor Jed Shugerman found it amusing that Trump "couldn't get a franchise because they have a character clause. So, he could become president of the United States, but he couldn't become an NFL owner in that world. Where's that bar?"

He went on to say that Deutsche Bank is very well known for sketchy practices that have gotten them fined multiple times.

"Deutsche Bank has paid over $2 billion in fines of all kinds and over $600 million just for Russian money laundering," Johnston explained. "Their profits last year were about €300 million. They're not that big of a bank. So, you have to wonder why are they taking risks loaning money to Donald Trump when every other bank walks away and says, 'I don't want to go into business with you! You don't pay your loans back!' Remember during the campaign he said I borrowed money knowing I wasn't going to pay it back."

The reason why, Johnston said, was the "$64,000 question."

Watch the full discussion below: