Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties

Democrats ask Fed to probe Trump's Deutsche Bank ties
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A group of seven Senate Democrats asked the Federal Reserve on Thursday to investigate whether Deutsche Bank managers declined to report to the federal government suspicious transactions involving accounts held by President TrumpDonald John TrumpWayfair refutes QAnon-like conspiracy theory that it's trafficking children Stone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Federal appeals court rules Trump admin can't withhold federal grants from California sanctuary cities MORE and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Chris Christie Trump: 'Shouldn't be hard' for Kanye West to take away votes from Biden Trump on Kanye West's presidential run: 'He is always going to be for us' MORE.

The New York Times reported last month that senior Deutsche Bank wealth management officials repeatedly ignored requests from internal anti-money laundering watchdogs to file suspicious activity reports on transactions conducted by Trump, his businesses and Kushner.

In a Thursday letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams, the seven Democratic senators asked for an investigation into the allegations raised in the Times article.

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“We urge you to undertake a thorough evaluation of the Bank’s compliance with Bank Secrecy Act and Anti- Money Laundering regulations with respect to the Trump and Kushner-related activities identified by Deutsche Bank compliance staff as suspicious,” the senators wrote.

The letter was spearheaded by Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenMaryland GOP governor who's criticized Trump says he's considering 2024 presidential run Communist China won't change — until its people and the West demand it Senate passes sanctions bill targeting China over Hong Kong law MORE (D-Md.) and co-signed by Democratic Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers On The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities IRS chief pledges to work with Congress on examining tax code's role in racial wealth disparities MORE (Ohio), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Sunday shows - FDA commissioner declines to confirm Trump claim that 99 percent of COVID-19 cases are 'harmless' MORE (R.I.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBottom line Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Thomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski MORE (N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Trump defends Roger Stone move: He was target of 'Witch Hunt' Democrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' MORE (Mass.), Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoThe robbing of a wildlife refuge in Nevada Senators press IRS chief on stimulus check pitfalls Klobuchar withdraws from Biden VP contention MORE (Nev.) and Tina SmithTina Flint SmithTrump officials seek to reassure public about safety of a potential coronavirus vaccine The Hill's Campaign Report: Candidates, lawmakers mark Juneteenth Group of Democratic senators to propose making Juneteenth national holiday MORE (Minn.), all members of the Senate Banking Committee.

The senators asked Powell and Williams to answer 11 questions by June 24 regarding whether they have begun investigating claims from the Times article, what they’ve found and how they expect banks to monitor accounts for potential financial crimes.

“Only by conducting a thorough review of the full range of this activity can we better understand what happened in these cases; what practices, procedures, or personnel may need to be changed at the bank; and what regulators should do to ensure the Federal Reserve’s ability effectively to monitor compliance with Anti- Money Laundering laws,” they wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have homed in on Deutsche Bank and the international legal scrutiny it has drawn, along with its close connections to Trump, his family and business empire. The German lender has paid billions in fines and legal settlements, including nearly $700 million in fines related to Russian money laundering scheme.

Three Democratic-led House committees are investigating Deutsche Bank’s involvement in potential money laundering and financial crimes, along with Trump’s long-standing relationship with the bank. The panels have subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for its financial records pertaining to Trump, which the president has sought to block in court.

Over the past two decades, Deutsche Bank has lent roughly $2 billion to Trump, including unconventional loans for real estate projects through its private wealth management wing.

The president owes roughly $300 million to Deutsche Bank, the only major bank who would lend to Trump after a series of bankruptcies and defaults ruined his standing among most financial firms.

Democratic lawmakers argue that Deutsche Bank’s implication in Russian money laundering and ties to Trump raise questions about a potential nexus with the Russian government’s attempts to sway the 2016 election in the president’s favor.

"This overdependence on Deutsche Bank and the heightened potential for conflicts of interest it poses is made more troubling because the President has refused to make any effort to address conflicts of interest or disclose his extensive global financial ties, as other Presidents and candidates have done in the past," the senators wrote.