Robert Mueller's request to Deutsche Bank to obtain information about Donald Trump's loans indicates that the special lawyer has now crossed a "red line" identified by the president months ago, and could solve the mystery of how much Trump really is worth .  Accounts in at least five news articles suggest, for the first time, that the prosecutor is investigating whether Russian money laundering furthered the growth and development of the Trump Organization after the six bankruptcies of Donald Trump made him radioactive. American banks.
Deutsche Bank intervened and helped Trump, at a time when his Moscow office had become a focal point for moving capital from Russia to the West. Earlier this year, the bank paid $ 630 million to settle the $ 10 billion laundering charges for the Russians.
"Deutsche Bank is synonymous with Russian money laundering", Luke Harding, author of Collusion a book about Trump connections -Russia said in an interview with Newsweek Tuesday.
About ten hours after the first citation reports appeared in European newspapers Trump's lawyers denied that the bank had been cited. But Deutsche Bank did not deny the reports. In a statement, the bank said: "DB takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations into this matter."
The bank's $ 300 million loan to Trump, after the failed bankrupt tycoon was delayed in another The German bank's loan was highly unusual according to banking experts, and likely raised questions for Mueller's researchers about who or what supported the additional funds.
In 2008, according to Harding's book, Trump refused to pay $ 640 million loan, which he was using for a project in Chicago. He blamed the financial collapse for his lack of payment. When Deutsche Bank tried to charge, Trump went on the offensive and sued the bank in Queens, New York, demanding $ 3 billion for its role in the collapse.
Two years later, everything was forgiven and the bank was lending him $ 300 million, due in 2023 and 2024. It was not the first time that the lenders doubled the failed loans to Trump, but the US banks never reviewed that strategy after Trump's bankruptcy of $ 900 million in the 1990s.
The Deutsche Bank agreement surprised Harding's sources. "When asked if it was normal to give more money to a client who was a bad credit risk and a litigant," Harding wrote, "a former Deutsche Bank staff member said," Are you kidding me? "
The bank also lent Trump the money during a period in which the Moscow office of Deutsche Bank was headed by the 20-year-old son of a KGB agent, and an equally green young American named Tim Wiswell, who, according to Harding, is currently "on the run" and is the "Edward Snowden of banking."
Under the two men, the Moscow office of the Deutsche Bank moved thousands of million rubles of Russia, a turnover that amazed other banker The office was also making billions of dollars in business with the big Russian bank VTB.
"They were doing very curious things, nobody could make sense of their business," Chris Barter, the CEO of Goldman Sachs Moscow at the time, told Harding. "We discovered that the nature and concentration of your business with VTB are quite irritating – no one else could touch VTB."
Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank paid $ 670 million in fines in the United States and the United Kingdom. United for irregularities related to $ 10 billion in Russian money laundering. The bank also closed its investment office in Moscow.
Harding says that the citation suggests that "money laundering is at the center of the investigation [Mueller]." He noted the charges against Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign president and the issue of Mueller's first indictment, who is on bail, accused of laundering money for Ukrainian and Russian clients.
Despite months of interest from the committee of journalists and Congress on Trump loans and reports that Trump brand building units around the world are connected with Russian money laundering, Deutsche Bank has "hampered "requests for information, until the citation of Mueller, Harding said.
The subpoena allegedly requests information about the loans of Trump and his family members. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, obtained a $ 287 million loan from Deutsche Bank shortly before the 2016 election.
The former Chief Financial Officer of the United States-Russian Investment Fund, who is familiar with US and international laundering laws of money, Steve Halliwell, says he suspects that Mueller's investigators are looking either for Deutsche Bank exits to Trump organizations that can be traced to large Russian banks, or for any money that goes into entities owned by Kushn er related to their massively indebted buildings in Manhattan, or both. He also said that "pressure is being adjusted" on money laundering in general, all over the world, after decades of increased regulation and scrutiny in the United States and Europe. "They are making it very difficult for money to move surreptitiously," Halliwell said.
Deutsche Bank has information that Trump has protected at all costs; He has broken with the presidential custom and refused to publish his tax returns. "If Trump applied for a loan, he would have to reveal his financial position," Harding said. "They have the inside story about their finances, and that could explain why they did this extremely strange thing, at a time when we know that their Moscow office was making special arrangements for people known to be connected with the Russian regime."  They asked him if it was possible for Trump to borrow the money Without understanding his origin was Moscow, Harding replied: "Only if you think he is a complete idiot"
Last summer, Trump said The New York Times that a Mueller raid on his Your family's finances would be a red line. He said: "I think that's a violation, look, this is about Russia." That observation, and his agreement with the term "red line", had led to intense speculation that Trump would fire Mueller as soon as he investigated his business. The delayed but resounding denial by the White House of five separate reports on the summons suggests that the battle is reaching a critical stage.
In a statement, Rep. Adam Schiff, the chief Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee investigates the Russian interference elections, said: "Mueller's citation of the special lawyer of Deutsche Bank would be a very significant development. I would wash money through the Trump Organization, it would be much more compromising than any salacious video and could be used as leverage against Donald Trump and his associates and family. "
Schiff's statement said, in part, that "there have been no credible allegations that Russian citizens may have used Trump's properties to launder money."
Schiff also noted that Donald Trump Jr. boasted of get money from Russia. Donald, Jr. said in 2008: "The Russians are a pretty disproportionate sample of many of our assets." A golf writer, James Dodson, reported that his brother Eric Trump went further, and more recently, boasting in 2014 that the Trump organization had access to $ 100 million in Russian funds. Eric Trump has challenged that report.
The publication of Deutsche Bank records should resolve the dispute.