House Democrats ramp up probe of Trump's shady finances
The only major bank that President Donald Trump has been able to count on for financial backing was among those that were issued subpoenas Monday by House Democrats.
The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees both demanded that Deutsche Bank—one of Trump's most reliable creditors—as well as Citigroup and Bank of America turn over records pertaining to the president's personal and corporate finances.
Last year, reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Trump's financial dealings with Deutsche Bank led to the president to call for Mueller's probe to be shut down. But Deutsche itself opened an investigation into Trump shortly after he entered office to determine whether its loans to the president had any links to Moscow.
Over the past two decades, Deutsche Bank has been the only financial institution to continue giving credit to Trump. It loaned more than $2 billion to Trump over those years, $300 million of which Trump still owed to the bank when he took office.
As Common Dreams reported last year, German police raided Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters in November in connection with the Panama Papers money laundering investigation. The subpoenas issued by the House committees reportedly pertain to possible money-laundering in Russia and Eastern Europe.
"The information that could bring down Trump," wrote John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy In Focus, at Common Dreams last year, "may be somewhere in the Deutsche Bank files. The relevant documents would link the bank's two most questionable financial activities—lending to Trump and washing Russian money."
Democrats vowed to pursue Trump's financial records after they won control of the House in November, saying they wanted to determine whether Russia may have had leverage over the president via his loans from Deutsche Bank.
"The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern," Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement Monday.
The subpoenas represent the latest step in Democrats' effort to get to the bottom of Trump's financial ties and those of the Trump Organization—from which the president refused to divest when he took office in 2017.
The House Ways and Means Committee also requested Trump's personal and business tax returns from his accounting firm, leading the president to tell the company not to comply. The accounting firm, Mazars USA has said it plans "fully comply with its legal obligations" while Deutsche Bank says it is cooperating with the House Committees' requests.