Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Deutsche Bank in his investigation on the Donald Trump campaign, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
Mueller forces Deutsche to cooperate
A person from the Mueller’s investigation team confirmed the subpoena to Reuters, confirming a story published earlier by the German daily Handelsblatt.
Deutsche Bank has lent the Trump organization an estimated $300 million (€253 million). There has long been a suspicion that the Trump administration is facing a conflict of interest, as the German lender was lobbying to reduce a multi-billion dollar fine while the Trump family was renegotiating a restructuring of its own debt.
Mueller’s investigation focuses on the alleged collision between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Democrats took a step further in May and wrote to Deutsche Bank’s CEO, John Cryan, asking whether loans extended by the German lender to Donald Trump were guaranteed by the Russian government.
“It is critical that you provide this committee with the information necessary to assess the scope, findings and conclusions of your internal reviews,” the letter read, according to The Hill. At the time, Cryan was reluctant to cooperate.
The Mueller investigation is now demanding evidence on the alleged links between Russian financing, the Trump family, and the role of the Russian state. Fox News denies the accuracy of reporting by and suggests Mueller has not and will not subpoena Deutsche Bank about the US president’s finances.
Conflict of Interest
Since April 2017, Democratic members of the Financial Services Committee are pressing the German lender for assurances that it was not using its insider knowledge of US President Trump dealings as “leverage” over the US government. In fact, Senator Chris Van Hollen is demanding to know whether Deutsche Bank restructured Trump’s personal loans to the tune of $340 million, The Guardian reports.
It should be recalled that the German lender reached a legal settlement with the US during the Trump transition period, receiving a more than 40% reduction on the original $12bn fine. More controversially, the German lender was fined $630 million in January for organizing mirror-trading operations that could be used to launder Russian money. There is a suspicion that The Trump organization may be involved in one of these transactions, which is being looked at by the Congressional inquiry.
While renegotiating the lenders’ fine, the President-elect Donald Trump had a personal debt with the German lender while his son in law, Jared Kushner, has an outstanding loan to the tune of $370 million.
In May, the Democrats took a step further and wrote a letter to Deutsche Bank’s CEO, John Cryan, asking whether loans extended by the German lender to Donald Trump were guaranteed by the Russian government. The letter was not signed by Republicans.
“It is critical that you provide this committee with the information necessary to assess the scope, findings and conclusions of your internal reviews,” the letter reads, according to The Hill.
John Cryan did not meet the Friday, June 2 deadline set by the House Committee.
According to a Democratic staffer, the German lender is not cooperating. “Deutsche Bank’s outside counsel has confirmed receipt of our May 23, 2017, letter but did not provide substantive responses to our requests,” the anonymous source told Reuters. The letter simply said that more time is needed, with no explanation as to “why” and, significantly, “when.” This information was confirmed by Reuters on Monday from the office of a California Democratic representative, Maxine Waters. Waters was one of the five signatories to the letter.
Both the Kremlin and Donald Trump have denied there ever was a collision during the 2016 Presidential campaign.