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Democratic lawmakers subpoena Deutsche Bank, other institutions as part of Trump probe

AFP-JIJI

Democratic lawmakers investigating President Donald Trump’s finances announced Tuesday they have issued subpoenas to several banks, including Deutsche Bank, as part of a probe into “potential foreign influence” in U.S. elections.

The subpoenas were announced by the heads of the House intelligence and financial services committees, which are looking into the president’s finances as part of a larger probe into election meddling by Russia.

Deutsche Bank, a major lender to Trump real estate projects, said in a statement that it is engaged in a “productive dialogue” with both committees.

“We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations,” it said.

The German investment bank was one of the few major Western financial institutions to continue to lend to Trump’s real estate empire after several of its casinos went bankrupt in the 1990s, resulting in claims by creditors valued at $330 million in today’s dollars.

Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee’s chairman, said Deutsche Bank has been cooperating with the committees and described the subpoena issued to it as “friendly.”

“As part of our oversight authority and authorized investigation into allegations of potential foreign influence on the U.S. political process, the House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas to multiple financial institutions in coordination with the House Financial Services Committee, including a friendly subpoena to Deutsche Bank, which has been cooperative with the Committees,” he said in a statement.

“We look forward to their continued cooperation and compliance,” he said.

Maxine Waters, chair of the Financial Services Committee, said her committee was investigating “the potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes.”

The committee, she said, “is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates.”

The announcement of the subpoenas comes just two days before the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his near two-year investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Attorney General Bill Barr summarized Mueller’s findings in a four-page letter to Congress last month, saying the former FBI director found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Barr also cleared Trump of obstruction of justice even though Mueller, while reaching no conclusion on that score, said his investigation did not exonerate the president.

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