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Trump’s Deutsche Bank relationship under investigation

By Feng Xuejun (People's Daily)    09:49, January 04, 2018

In December, Deutsche Bank agreed to submit documents on the bank’s relationship with US President Trump after US authorities issued a subpoena.

Berlin (People’s Daily) – US authorities are investigating Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Paul Manafort, former campaign manager of US President Donald Trump.

In early 2017, Germany’s leading business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that the Frankfurt lender noticed $30 million in suspicious transactions connected to Manafort and alerted US authorities.

The transactions were flagged after it was revealed Manafort had received payments for lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukraine. The money was coming from those close to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who is widely believed to have close connections with Russia.

It’s unclear if the $30 million in transactions earmarked by the German bank were payments from Ukraine, but the lender is Trump’s primary bank and one that is used by members of his family.

Last October, the special counsel charged Manafort with money laundering, conspiracy, and other crimes. Manafort pleaded not guilty.

Handelsblatt reported that Deutsche Bank had received subpoenas from US special counsel Robert Mueller, regarding an ongoing investigation into Russia’s alleged involvement with the 2016 US presidential election.

The bank was also asked to hand over transaction information connected to Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned in February 2017 for not admitting to speaking with the Russian ambassador before Trump’s inauguration.

In December, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the federal authorities and agreed to cooperate with Mueller, who was investigating him on his close ties with Turkey and Russia.

According to the weekly Zeit Online, Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank dates back to the nineties. It was a period when both were kept out of the select club of premier Wall Street lenders.

The recession didn’t make it easier for either of them to hang on to their territory. But Trump eventually became a loyal client.

In 2005, the German bank provided $640 million to build the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. Trump vouched for the loan with $40 million in private funds.

But then the financial crisis happened, nearly severing the relationship.

In November 2008, Trump was unable to afford the loan and was faced with having to pay $40 million out of his own pocket.

But Trump finally paid the bill, with money that came from the private financing department at Deutsche Bank. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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