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Russian Federation inquiry zeroes in on bank records

08 December 2017

Multiple news outlets, citing an anonymous source or sources, reported that the scandal-ridden special counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank AG for records regarding President Donald Trump and his family.

Mueller, of course, is looking for a Russian Federation connection with this subpoena, but Trump and his lawyers are unlikely to be sympathetic to that interpretation, and will likely cast it as an unreasonable intrusion into the president's personal life - part of the "witch hunt" the president keeps decrying. Deutsche Bank may be glad it's being forced to hand over information.

During a photo opportunity with senators at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump declined to answer shouted questions from reporters about whether Mr Mueller had crossed a line by asking Deutsche Bank for information. The Deutsche subpoenas were sent several weeks ago, according to the Bloomberg report.

Deutsche Bank has loaned the Trump Organisation hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate ventures and is one of the few major lenders that has given large amounts of credit to Mr Trump in the past decade.

"Special prosecutor Robert Mueller zeroed in on President Donald Trump's business dealings with Deutsche Bank as his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in US elections widens", read the lede.

For instance, weeks before news broke of a salacious dossier detailing alleged leverage Russian Federation may hold over then President-elect Donald Trump, Harding and a colleague were in a London pub meeting with an ex-British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele about a story they were working on.

"No subpoena has been issued or received", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a briefing.

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"An earlier subheadline said a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller's office requested data and documents about President Trump's accounts", a correction reads. "No subpoena has been issued or received. Asked whether it was normal to give money to a customer who was a bad credit risk and a litigant, one former senior Deutsche Bank staff member said: 'Are you fucking kidding me?'" A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank apparently received the subpoena weeks ago, but a spokesman said the bank would not comment on individual cases "out of respect for investigating authorities" and for legal reasons.

"No one from the VTB Group representatives has received a subpoena because there are absolutely no grounds for it", a bank representative said in response to a request from Reuters. 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.

"One obvious question is why Trump and those around him expressed interest in improving relations with Russian Federation as a top foreign policy priority, and whether or not any personal considerations played any part in that", the second official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The subpoena concerns people or entities close to Mr. Trump". More significantly, he also is providing details to Mueller about the Trump campaign's approach to Flynn's controversial meeting with a Russian envoy during the presidential transition.

As Mueller's investigation unfolds, Trump has gone on the offensive.

But despite multiple United States media outlets reporting that Mr Mueller's investigation had expanded to include Mr Trump's personal financial records, one of the President's lawyers said that was not the case.

Russian Federation inquiry zeroes in on bank records