A New York investigation into President Donald Trump’s business has trained its sights on Deutsche Bank.
When Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance launched the investigation into Trump’s finances, the focus was hush money paid out to women. Now the spotlight is on Deutsche Bank, the president’s longtime lender, and his insurance brokerage, Aon, the New York Times reported, citing sources with knowledge of the probe.
Investigators questioned two Deutsche Bank employees on the bank’s underwriting process, although the employees were not involved with the Trump Organization specifically. The Manhattan district attorney’s office first subpoenaed Deutsche Bank last year as part of a criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices.
Deutsche Bank signaled before the election that it was considering cutting ties with Trump because of the ongoing investigations. One senior executive called those probes into Trump’s business “serious collateral damage” for the bank, according to Reuters.
The bank has been Trump’s primary lender since the 1990s, and holds $340 million in outstanding loans from the president. The loans are personally guaranteed by Trump.
It’s unclear if the investigation will result in charges, but Trump has said that he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself should he face federal charges relating to his business practices. However, a federal pardon would not protect Trump from state or local-level criminal charges.
[NYT] — Georgia Kromrei