As news broke Thursday morning that Deutsche Bank’s German headquarters had been raided in Frankfurt over, numerous observers were quick to note the bank’s deep ties to U.S. President Donald Trump.
The bank’s offices were reportedly raided in connection with the Panama Papers money laundering investigation. Two employees and several “unidentified people in positions of authority” are suspected of failing to report the laundering of more than $350 million which were kept by the bank in accounts located in the British Virgin Islands.
According to NPR, more than 900 Deutsche Bank clients were able to keep their money on the islands in 2016.
In addition to its ongoing legal troubles, having been fined $600 million just last year for laundering $10 billion in Russian currency, Deutsche Bank has been known in recent years as “the one financial institution that stuck with Donald Trump when virtually all other banks wouldn’t touch him,” as John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy in Focus, wrote in Common Dreams in July.
As Trump’s former top aide Steve Bannon said in early 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s campaign will largely deal with the president’s finances with the bank.
The probe, he said “goes through Deutsche Bank and all the Kushner shit. They’re going to go right through that.”
German authorities raided Deutsche Bank — including its Frankfurt headquarters — in a money-laundering probe. FWIW: Deutsche has been rocked by problems and was the only major global bank to do business with Trump in recent years. https://t.co/bwGF53HoK0
— Tim O’Brien (@TimOBrien) November 29, 2018
Hmmm…After the raid of Deutsche Bank today for money laundering wonder if this is what is freaking Trump out: Trump’s long and winding history with Deutsche Bank could now be at the center of Robert Mueller’s investigation https://t.co/gvMq6oiC4M via @businessinsider
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) November 29, 2018
The bank continued to extend credit to Trump after he failed to pay back $330 million on a loan. Deutsche Bank also counts other members of the Trump family, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, among its clients. The bank opened its own investigation into Trump shortly after he entered office to determine whether its loans to the president had any links to Moscow.
Mueller last year subpoenaed the bank as part of his investigation into Trump’s campaign, ignoring the president’s “red line” that his finances should be off limits to the probe. The subpoena reportedly led to private calls from Trump to shut down the special counsel’s investigation.
“The information that could bring down Trump—and that presumably Robert Mueller is trying to obtain—may be somewhere in the Deutsche Bank files,” wrote Feffer earlier this year. “The relevant documents would link the bank’s two most questionable financial activities—lending to Trump and washing Russian money.”