Democrats subpoena banks as they probe Trump finances

President Trump speaks in the Oval Office on April 11

President Trump speaks in the Oval Office on April 11

Congressional Democrats issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank AG and other banks to obtain long-sought documents indicating whether foreign nations tried to influence US politics, signaling an escalation of their probes into President Donald Trump's finances and business dealings with Russians. The company has received subpoenas from two U.S. House committees about its business dealings with President Trump.

In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it has "engaged in a productive dialogue" with both committees.

Trump has a long history with Deutsche Bank that hasn't always been the most easy-going relationship.

"We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations", the emailed statement said, referring "questions concerning the investigative activities of the committees" to the committees themselves. Leaders of the two panels stressed the urgency of the inquiries.

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Waters was even more scathing at a public hearing last week when speaking to the chief executives of several big banks about their business dealings with Russian Federation. Citigroup's Michael Corbat was most cryptic, saying he couldn't comment on any ongoing investigation.

Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., says the use of the financial system for potentially illicit purposes is a serious matter and the investigation is necessary under the committee's oversight authority.

"The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible pursuant to its oversight authority, and will follow the facts wherever they may lead", she said. On the back of a four-page summary written by his handpicked attorney general, William Barr, Trump has claimed that he has been "exonerated" of any claims of collusion or other wrongdoing.

By contrast, the Trump Organization's lawyer Alan Garten told reporters that the company was mulling how the company could possibly stop Deutsche Bank from observing the House Democrats' subpoena.

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Schiff has frequently noted that Trump was pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow during the presidential campaign.

Also on Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings served a subpoena to Mazars USA, an accounting firm employed by Trump, seeking ten years of the president's financial records, in an effort to corroborate elements of Cohen's testimony before the committee.

As Common Dreams reported previous year, German police raided Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters in November in connection with the Panama Papers money laundering investigation.

The transactions Trump conducted with the bank are of interest not just to Democratic lawmakers investigating the president.

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Deutsche Bank has provided some $2 billion in credit to Trump since 1998, The New York Times previously calculated.

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