Mueller's alleged Deutsche Bank subpoena very risky for Trump: Judge Napolitano

08 December, 2017, 01:36 | Author: Greg Santos
  • Germany's Deutsche Bank has reportedly received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Above a Deutsche Bank building in London

After an initial report about a subpoena from the German daily Handlesblatt, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets reported that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller targeting Trump and his family's bank records.

The news caused major buzz, as Mueller looking at Trump's financial records, or those of Trump's family, was considered a "red line" to the president, and one not related to Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian attempts to influence the election, and potential collusion by Trump aides.

Trump's lawyer denied a subpoena had been issued.

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

The corrected report said the bank records "pertain to people affiliated" with Trump. "We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources".

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. The bank agreed to submit documents "on its relationship with [President] Trump and his family", which go back nearly 20 years, according to an anonymous source.

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"We confirmed that the news reports that the special counsel had subpoenaed financial records related to the president are completely false", Sanders said.

Most interesting of all, though, is what Harding goes on to detail: Around the same time Deutsche Bank's private wealth division was granting these extraordinary loans to Trump, business in the the bank's new Moscow branch was booming, thanks to the fact that it owned basically all of the business of Vneshtorgbank, or VTB - the Kremlin bank.

The bank also lent up to $170 million for the Old Post Office, a Washington property he converted into a hotel, and up to $640 million for the Trump Intl Hotel and Tower, Chicago, according to the news agency. The bank sued to force Trump to pay a portion of the debt: $40 million plus legal fees and interest.

Deutsche Bank countersued and the two sides eventually settled. The former real-estate baron has done billions of dollars' worth of business with Deutsche Bank over the past two decades, and First Lady Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner are also clients.

Trump told the New York Times this past summer he would consider it a "violation" if Mueller were to expand the probe beyond Russian Federation.

Internal Deutsche Bank documents seen by Reuters feature the names of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his wife, Kathleen, in a series of client profiles.

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