Executives inside Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump’s personal bankers, are expecting that the bank will soon be receiving subpoenas or other requests for information from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
A person close to the matter who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity said that Mueller’s team and the bank have already established informal contact in connection to the federal investigation.
Deutsche’s relationship with Trump and questions about hundreds of millions in loans have dogged the German bank and the White House for months. They have also been the subject of intense scrutiny among some Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have demanded the bank turn over detailed information about the president’s accounts.
The requests for information from Maxine Waters, the top Democrat on the House financial services committee, have focused on whether any Russian entities may have provided financial guarantees for the loans that were made to the president or his immediate family members.
The Guardian reported in February that the bank launched a review of Trump’s account earlier this year in order to gauge whether there were any suspicious connections to Russia and did not discover anything suspicious.
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser in the White House; her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a presidential adviser; and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Stadtmauer, are all clients of Deutsche Bank.
US media outlets have reported that Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign will include a close examination of the president’s finances and businesses. While Deutsche Bank did engage in banking transactions with Russian banks as late as 2005, including some loan activity, a person familiar with the matter said the activity was not related to Trump’s accounts or his family.
The president has decried that the investigation into his campaign is “fake news” and has vociferously denied that the campaign ever colluded with Russian government officials to try to gain an edge in his 2016 race against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Any move by Mueller’s team to pursue Trump’s personal financial record comes as the bank continues to negotiate a settlement with the Department of Justice over its so-called mirror trading scheme, in which the bank’s former Moscow branch is alleged to have allowed $10bn to flow out of Russia. Democrats on Capitol Hill have been demanding answers about who might have benefited from the scheme.
Deutsche has been fined more than $6bn in connection to compliance failures since 2015.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg, Trump now owes Deutsche, his biggest creditor, around $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche’s private bank. The loans are guaranteed against the president’s properties: a new deluxe hotel in Washington DC’s old post office building, just around the corner from the White House; his Chicago tower hotel; and the Trump National Doral Miami resort.
A person close to the matter said other financial institutions with ties to Trump would also likely receive requests for information from Mueller’s team, including Bank of America.
Lawrence Grayson, Bank of America spokesman, declined to comment on whether the bank had received or was anticipating any subpoenas for records from Mueller’s investigation.
Deutsche Bank did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Mueller did not respond to a request for comment.
This article was written by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Oliver Laughland, for theguardian.com on Thursday 20th July 2017 00.26 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010