House Democrats are homing on one rich of area of inquiry that the special counsel’s office appears to have primarily steered clear of: the finances of Donald Trump and his businesses.
In particular, they are gearing up to figure out why the German financial giant Deutsche Bank lent the Trump Organization a lifeline of hundreds of millions of dollars when almost every other major bank deemed it too risky. Deutsche Bank has been the subject of investigations around Russian money laundering schemes, and Trump reported owing Deutsche Bank at least $130 million in his last financial disclosure filing.
The House Financial Services and Intelligence panels have been hiring staff with the expertise to delve into these areas, and Democrats say it’s a line of inquiry that Robert Mueller doesn’t appear to have exhausted by any means. In fact, when news first surfaced last year that Mueller had subpoenaed records from Deutsche Bank, Trump had a meltdown and Mueller took the rare step of denying the reporting.
“There’s a heightened need to look into anything that could compromise the president or the country, particularly if it’s not being investigated elsewhere,” House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff told Politico.
Democrats’ renewed focus on the Trump Organization’s relationship with Deutsche Bank comes during a week when Trump’s former fixer/lawyer Michael Cohen is set to testify before three House panels—two behind closed doors, and one public hearing with the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. If there’s one thing Cohen would be familiar with, it’s the signing of any bank documents related to the Trump Organization. That may or may not be a topic of inquiry at Cohen’s public hearing, depending on whether public disclosure of such information will impinge on other investigations being conducted by Mueller or other House panels.