January 24, 2019 / 10:35 AM / 3 months ago

Deutsche Bank queried by U.S. House panels on Trump ties

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG has received an inquiry from two U.S. House of Representatives committees on the lender’s ties to President Donald Trump, it said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: A Deutsche Bank logo at the company's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Democrats now in control of the House had been working out which House panels would take the lead in investigating Trump’s business ties to Germany’s largest lender, lawmakers and aides familiar with the plans told Reuters last week.

“The bank has received an inquiry from the House financial services and intelligence committees,” Deutsche Bank said in a statement.

The committee leaders said in a joint statement Thursday that they were in talks with the bank and expect its cooperation in its inquiries.

“The House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees are engaged in productive discussions with Deutsche Bank, and look forward to continued cooperation,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters.

Deutsche Bank said it is working with the two committees to “determine the best and most appropriate way of assisting them in their official oversight functions.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Since U.S. voters on Nov. 6 shifted majority control of the House from the Republicans to the Democrats, Democratic lawmakers have been promising to investigate the first two years of Trump’s administration and possible conflicts of interest presented by his hotel, golf course and other ventures.

A 2018 financial disclosure form showed liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of the German bank. They are for properties including the Trump International Hotel in a former post office in Washington.

The Financial Services Committee has the broadest power to look into Trump’s relationship with Deutsche.

When the Republicans still controlled the House, Waters tried in 2017 to request documents from the bank on its dealings with Trump and his businesses, as well as information about potential Russian money laundering through the bank.

The bank told Congress that privacy laws prevented it from handing over such information without a formal subpoena and committee Republicans ignored Waters’ request. As chairwoman, Waters can now issue subpoenas herself.

Reporting by Tom Sims and Andreas Framke; Editing by David Goodman and Jonathan Oatis

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