Two House committees on Monday subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions as part of an investigation into Donald Trump’s financial dealings and possible foreign influence on U.S. politics.
House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the subpoenas of “multiple financial institutions” — including a “cooperative” Deutsche Bank — in coordination with the House Financial Services Committee, are part of the committees’ “oversight authority and authorized investigation into allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process.”
The New York Times, which first reported the subpoenas, said the committees demanded records from institutions including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, which sources said were related to possible money-laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Schiff told The New Yorker in December that his committee was “going to be looking at the issue of possible money laundering by the Trump Organization, and Deutsche Bank is one obvious place to start.” (In 2015, Deutsche Bank’s Russian arm was implicated in a $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme and fined $600 million.)
The Trump Organization has about $300 million in loans from the Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which became a key lender as major U.S. banks refused to do business with the company after a number of bankruptcies, CNN reported. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Trump, The Wall Street Journal has reported.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the chair of the Financial Services Committee, said in a statement that the “potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern.” The committee is “exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates … and will follow the facts wherever they may lead us.”
Schiff said that Deutsche Bank requested a so-called friendly subpoena, which means it’s willing to turn over documents but wants an official request first.
The bank “has been cooperative with the committees,” Schiff said in a statement. “We look forward to their continued cooperation and compliance.”
A Deutsche Bank statement said officials are involved in a “productive dialogue” with the committees. “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations,” the statement added.
Eric Trump, who is running the Trump Organization while his father is in the White House, issued a statement calling the subpoenas an “unprecedented abuse of power and simply the latest attempt by House Democrats to attack the president and our family for political gain,” ABC News reported.
“Instead of legislating, the committee is obsessed with harassing and undermining my father’s administration, doing everything they can to distract from his incredible accomplishments,” he added in the statement. “Today’s actions by the committee set a horrible precedent for all taxpayers.”