Oof. So much smoke — everywhere. Maybe Trump needs to rake his offices to prevent these wildfires from spreading.
Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.
The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.
So what happened? Nothing of course.
But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.
You have to wonder how big the vault is where Trump keeps his blackmail material. It’s gotta look like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark — complete with its own Lindsey Graham and Deutsche Bank wings.
But former Deutsche Bank employees said the decision not to report the Trump and Kushner transactions reflected the bank’s generally lax approach to money laundering laws. The employees — most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve their ability to work in the industry — said it was part of a pattern of the bank’s executives rejecting valid reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients.
Okay, maybe it’s not blackmail. Maybe it really is just a “lax approach” on the part of Deutsche Bank — which would explain why Trump loves to do business with it.
So, no real smoking gun here — but there’s smoke coming from somewhere.