The battle between Deutsche Bank and Congressional Democrats over real estate loans made to President Trump took another turn Thursday, when the German lender said it cannot legally hand over documents related to the loans.
But the bank may be able to share confidential information in response to a formal committee request, the bank’s attorneys said in a letter to lawmakers.
“We respectfully disagree with the suggestion that Deutsche Bank freely may reveal confidential financial information in response to requests from individual members of Congress,” the lawyers wrote, reported Bloomberg.
Earlier this year, the bank refused to hand over information on its business dealings with Trump following a request from Congressional Democrats.
The bank has been a key lender to Donald Trump’s real estate business, issuing around $300 million in loans on his hotels and gold courses. Democratic lawmakers argued that this poses a conflict of interest. Trump has personally guaranteed his Deutsche Bank loans.
Earlier this month, the Democrats said federal laws preventing the disclosure of client information didn’t apply to Congress. They argued that banking secrecy laws cannot be used to hide potential fraud.
“This bank has lent hundreds of millions of dollars to Donald Trump and his family members, and reportedly conducted an internal review of whether their accounts had any ties to Russia,” said Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, said in a statement. “Efforts by Trump, his family members and associates, and Deutsche Bank to avoid scrutiny only intensify our resolve to follow the Trump money trail.” [Bloomberg] — E.B. Solomont