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article imageLawmakers seek details of Trump-Deutsche Bank-Russia ties

By AFP     May 24, 2017 in World

US lawmakers have demanded documents from German banking giant Deutsche Bank detailing its ties with President Donald Trump and his dealings with Russia.

It was the latest twist in the high-stakes investigation of Trump's relations with Moscow, and whether there was any collusion between his campaign and an alleged Russian bid to tilt the US election in the Republican's favor.

Democratic members of the House Financial Services Committee in letters dated Tuesday, also demanded similar documents from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin seeking clues to any financial leverage the Russian government or oligarchs may have had over Trump or his family.

"Congress remains in the dark on whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia," said the letter to the bank, signed by five Democratic committee members.

"It is critical that you provide this committee with the information necessary to assess the scope, findings and conclusions of your internal reviews."

They noted that the bank had conducted an internal review of its dealings with Trump and his family members, as well as a 2011 Russian trading scandal, but said it has declined to comment publicly on its findings.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment on the letter.

US regulators have fined the bank billions of dollars over an interest rate manipulation scandal, selling toxic mortgage-backed securities, and lax anti-money laundering procedures.

"Deutsche Bank's pattern of involvement in money laundering schemes with primarily Russian participation, its unconventional relationship with the President, and its repeated violations of US banking laws, all raise serious questions about whether the Bank's reported reviews of the trading scheme and Trump's financial ties to Russia were completely thorough," the lawmakers' letter said.

It noted the bank continued to do business with Trump when others refused because he repeatedly declared bankruptcy, and reports indicate his companies owe $340 million to Deutsche Bank.

The committee called on the bank to provide "any document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication related to the 2011 Russian mirror trading scheme," as well as details of any loans and guarantees made to Trump or his family members.

In a separate letter, the committee called on the Treasury Department to provide similar details of any loans to Trump and the ties to Russia, information already sought by the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

"The nearly constant stream of allegations about the President's ties to Russian government officials, oligarchs, and organized crime leaders raises serious questions as to whether such individuals may have financial leverage of the President and his Administration."

Several committees in the US Congress are looking into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, in addition to an FBI probe being overseen by a special prosecutor, the former FBI director Rovert Mueller.

More about US, Trump, Russia, deutschebank, Crime
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