It’s no secret these days that Deutsche Bank has engaged in a history of Russian money-laundering. In January of 2017 the German bank was ordered to pay a $630 million fine for their role in $10 billion in sham Russian trades.
It’s also no secret that Donald Trump has a cozy relationship with Deutsche Bank. Due to multiple bankruptcies, Trump and his businesses had difficulties securing loans from US banks. Deutsche Bank stepped in to bankroll multiple Trump Organization projects.
The relationship between the bank, Russian Oligarchs and Donald Trump is rife with conflicts of interest. Once Trump was elected president, Congresswoman Maxine Waters made it her mission to investigate these ties. Waters’ attempts to look into the president’s relationship with the bank have been rebuffed at nearly every turn by a GOP that was fully in control of Congress.
Here’s a timeline of Waters’ attempts to expose Trump’s questionable international financing deals.
As the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, Waters requested that Committee Chairman, Jeb Hensarling investigate the Deutsche Bank relationship with Russian money launderers. Sources tell Hill Reporter that Hensarling never replied to the request.
Ranking Member Waters and Democrats on the committee sent a letter to Deutsche CEO, John Cryan. The letter requested information on the 2011 scandal for which the bank was fined as well as info on the bank’s relationship with Trump.
The committee asked Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin to request that the Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) provide any records to the Committee that detail President Trump’s financial ties to Russia. Also requested was information on any Trump family ties that may violate US law.
A follow-up letter was sent to Deutsche CEO, John Cryan’s counsel. According to sources, the letter went unanswered.
After Jeb Hensarling ignored their first request, Ranking Member Waters and Democrats on the committee introduced a Resolution of Inquiry. The purpose of this ROI was to compel Secretary Mnuchin to provide the Committee with FinCEN documents regarding Trump and Russia. When the ROI went to a vote, all Republicans on the Committee rejected the measure resulting in a vote of 34-26.
As Attorney General, Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the DOJ’s investigation of Donald Trump, Ranking Member Waters and the Democrats on the Committee also requested he recuse himself from any investigation involving Deutsche Bank and Trump. According to sources, the Department of Justice refused to cooperate.
Ranking Member Waters and Democrats on the Committee requested that Jeb Hensarling use his subpoena power to request Deutsche Bank documents relating to the 2011 scandal as well as internal reviews on the accounts of President Trump. Sources have told Hill Reporter that Hensarling has refused to acknowledge any of these requests.
The Committee followed up with Secretary Mnuchin, demanding he complies with the FinCEN request. The request went unanswered.
Ranking Member Waters wrote to Acting AG Rod Rosenstein to request information on the DOJ’s investigation into Deutsche Bank’s 2011 Mirror Trading scandal and how it might relate to President Trump. Again, The Department of Justice did not comply with the request.
Ranking Member Waters and the Committee requested that Secretary Mnuchin recuse himself from any matters related to President Trump, his family members or associates.
Ranking Member Waters followed up with Secretary Mnuchin on the numerous information requests made of him. Sources tell us that The Treasury Department has not complied with any requests.
As the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters has made numerous attempts to look into President Trump’s dealings with Deutsche Bank. While these requests went unanswered, Ms. Waters will become the chair of the Committee in early 2019. She will now have many new powers, the ability to subpoena among them. It is likely that an investigation into Donald Trump and his relationship with Deutsche Bank will be forthcoming.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com and Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology and spending time at the shore with his family.