Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Culture | By Marion Pratt

Donald Trump's German bank account info 'requested by Russian links investigation'

Donald Trump's German bank account info 'requested by Russian links investigation'

United States prosecutors probing Russia's election meddling have subpoenaed financial records from Donald Trump's long-time financiers Deutsche Bank, two sources said on Wednesday, but the White House denied the President was targeted directly.

FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A USA federal investigator probing alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election asked Deutsche Bank for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday, but Trump's lawyer denied any such subpoena had been issued.

Holding Trump debt, particularly if some of it was or is soon due, could potentially give Russian banks some leverage over the US President, especially if they are state-owned, said a second US official familiar with Russian intelligence methods.

"We confirmed that the news reports that the special counsel had subpoenaed financial records related to the president are completely false", Sanders said during the White House's daily press conference.

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Deutsche Bank apparently received the subpoena weeks ago, but a spokesman said the bank would not comment on individual cases "out of respect for investigating authorities" and for legal reasons.

"Several news outlets-including Bloomberg-reported yesterday that the subpoena targeted Trump and his family's bank records, which was disputed by Trump's personal lawyer and the White House", the new Bloomberg story acknowledges.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has issued a subpoena to Germany's largest bank, in a possible sign the investigation into Russian election interference may be expanding toward President Trump's finances.
The Deutsche subpoenas were sent several weeks ago, according to the Bloomberg report.

Instead of targeting Trump or his family's records, the subpoenas were aimed at records that pertain to people or organizations affiliated with the president, according to the corrected stories.

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Deutsche Bank had been one of Trump's most reliable lenders.

Deutsche Bank has loaned the Trump Organization millions for real-estate ventures.

Deutsche Bank is not the only Trump-related business interest that is attracting the attention of investigators. In an interview this July, Trump told The New York Times that examination of his or his family's finances by Mueller would cross a red line.

The $300 million includes a $170 million loan Trump took out to complete a hotel in Washington, two mortgages against his Trump National Doral Miami resort, and a loan against his tower in Chicago. In fact, Trump went on, because of the bank's role in creating this "once-in-a-century credit tsunami", Deutsche Bank owed him money, to the tune of $3 billion in damages. Two other Trump figures, former campaign chair Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, have been arrested on money laundering charges. But it was not immediately clear what their relationship with the bank is or had been.

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