Why Robert Mueller May Be Interested in Trump's Deutsche Bank Records

Kelly Massey
Декабря 8, 2017

The Department of Justice is investigating Deutsche Bank's possible role in a $10 billion Russian money laundering scheme (and the bank has already paid out over $670 million in civil penalties to United States and United Kingdom regulators this year relating to Russian trades), and it looks like Mueller is digging into any potential connections between that investigation and his inquiry into the Trump camp.

The special counsel is investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians connected with the Kremlin in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Last week Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to a single count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"We have confirmed that the news reports that the special counsel had subpoenaed financial records relating to the president are false", attorney Jay Sekulow said in a statement.

According to media reports, Mr. Trump owed Deutsche Bank as much as $340 million (€286.5 million) at one point, though considerable restructuring appears to have brought down that amount. This was the middle of the financial crisis, a fact Trump tried to leverage in court, arguing he should not have to repay money he owed Deutsche Bank because it was "one of the banks primarily responsible for the economic dysfunction we are now facing".

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During a photo opportunity with senators at the White House on Tuesday, Trump declined to answer shouted questions from reporters about whether Mueller had crossed a line by asking Deutsche Bank for information. A source close to the matter said that Germany's biggest bank had received a subpoena from Robert Mueller's team for documents related to its dealings with the US President and had already begun to provide them.

Well, now they reportedly did (and executives at Deutsche Bank had previously said they expected this). Deutsche Bank may be glad it's being forced to hand over information. Representative Maxine Waters of California and other Democrats have asked whether the bank's loans to Trump, made years before he ran for president, were in any way connected to Russian Federation. The bank sued to force Trump to pay a portion of the debt: $40 million plus legal fees and interest. Allegedly the bank helped finance the renovation of the Old Post Office in Washington, the purchase of the Doral golf course in Florida and the construction of an office building in Chicago. In an interview this July, Trump told The New York Times that examination of his or his family's finances by Mueller would cross a red line. In fact, Trump went on, because of the bank's role in creating this "once-in-a-century credit tsunami", Deutsche Bank owed him money, to the tune of $3 billion in damages.

According to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Manafort and his wife do not have Deutsche Bank accounts. The charges were brought as part of Mueller's investigation.

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