Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly issued a subpoena to Germany's largest bank for U.S. President Donald Trump's financial records. Trump previously signaled that he would not tolerate the Mueller team investigating his personal finances.
On Dec. 5, a person familiar with the Mueller investigation disclosed that the special prosecutor had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank AG, requesting documents related to the Trump family, Bloomberg reports.
"Deutsche Bank always cooperates with investigating authorities in all countries," the bank stated when asked about the reported subpoena.
On Jan. 31, Deutsche Bank was fined roughly $630 million by U.S. regulators for allowing Russian clients to launder $10 billion on a global scale, according to CNN Money.
"The bank missed numerous opportunities to detect, investigate and stop the scheme due to extensive compliance failures, allowing the scheme to continue for years," the New York State Department of Financial Services said at the time.
Trump is estimated to have borrowed up to $300 million from the German lender before he entered the White House. Deutsche Bank loaned $170 million to the president for his hotel in Washington, D.C.
"One obvious question is why Trump and those around him expressed interest in improving relations with Russia as a top foreign policy priority, and whether or not any personal considerations played any part in that," a U.S. official told Reuters.
On May 23, Democrats on the House Committee on Financial Services unsuccessfully requested Deutsche Bank to disclose its records on Trump's loans, Business Insider reports.
"There is no transparency regarding who participated in, or benefited from, the Russian mirror trading scheme that allowed $10 billion to flow out of Russia," the Democrats wrote to the German bank in a letter. "Likewise, Congress remains in the dark on whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia."
The Mueller investigation is probing whether or not Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials to subvert the 2016 presidential race. Former White House National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russian officials. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, have been charged with financial crimes and conspiracy against the U.S., according to Fox News.
On July 19, Trump asserted that Mueller would be overstepping the bounds of the Russia investigation if he probed his personal finances.
"I think that's a violation," Trump told The New York Times. "Look, this is about Russia."
When asked if he would fire Mueller for probing his finances, Trump responded, "I can't answer that question because I don't think it's going to happen."
Sources: Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNN Money, Fox News, The New York Times, Reuters / Featured Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr / Embedded Images: Lucas Kaufmann/Wikimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore/Flickr