Several top Democrats warned the governmental watchdogs that Deutsche Bank might receive special treatment from the president-elect Donald Trump in the unresolved dispute over the bank's $14 billion fine.
It turned out that the struggling German lender is the only Wall Street bank that has been lending money to Donald Trump to support his multiple businesses. In fact, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: Deutsche Bank [DB]) and the president-elect have been working together for years whereas several other Wall Street giants like Citigroup (NYSE: Citigroup [C]), J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPMorgan Chase & Co [JPM]) and Morgan Stanley (Milan Stock Exchange: Mediaset [MS]) stopped working with Trump years ago because of the frustration with his business practices, reported the Wall Street Journal.
A group of head Democrat representatives asked governmental watchdogs from eight state departments to closely scrutinize Deutsche Bank's ongoing $14 billion dispute with the Department of Justice on the subject of favoritism from the president-elect Donald Trump and his newly appointed administration. If the bank fails to renegotiate the amount of the fine, it will significantly affect the lender's business and push it closer to bankruptcy, they said. For Trump, who received over $2.5 billion in lendings from Deutsche Bank, this would mean additional and quite serious business pressures.
“Trump has turned to Deutsche repeatedly to finance his real estate investments. Deutsche has been the only major Wall Street bank to continue to lend to Donald Trump and his entities in the wake of six Trump-business bankruptcies,” said the members of the Democrat House Financial Services Committee to a group of Inspectors General.
ABC News cites a senior U.S. Senator claiming that an independent prosecutor "without any connection to Attorney General" should be assigned to the Deutsche Bank's case as there will be a "clear conflict of interest" between Trump's private business interest and his duties as a president. Several other top Democrat Representatives issued a warning letter claiming that the president-elect could unobjectively influence Deutsche Bank's settlement discussions with DoJ due to his powerful position in the government.
“President-elect Donald Trump will begin his term with more potential conflicts of interest and less transparency about his personal finances than any president in recent history. Trump will have ample opportunity to make and influence policy decisions that benefit his personal business and financial interests,” they continued in the letter.
The Democrat representatives highlighted that out of the total $2.5 billion lent to Trump, he currently owes Deutsche Bank approximately $360 million that include funds for building or renovation of his Florida golf course, Trump's Tower in Chicago as well as a number of new hotels in Washington D.C. Even though Trump previously said that he would delegate the control of his many businesses to his children when he becomes the president, he told the reporters this Tuesday that he didn't plan to distance himself from his business empire anymore.
“This settlement could endanger Deutsche Bank’s financial health, which could strain the bank’s ability to lend future capital to Trump’s real estate projects and, thus, threaten his business interests,” said the letter.
The Democrat Representatives noted that Trump would be likely to appoint those people in the main governmental agencies who were ready to oversee Deutsche Bank's settlement. Therefore, the governmental regulators were asked to take "immediate and proactive steps" to monitor all new political appointees to ensure the highest possible "ethical standards" and objectivity in their decisions. Huffington Post also added that there was a special provision in the American Constitution that disallowed the elected president to accept any kind of valuable contributions from foreign governments unless unanimously approved by the Congress.
Deutsche Bank, Trump's transition team and the Trump Organization declined to comment on the matter, said ABC News. Earlier this week, Donald Trump reacted on Twitter to the growing criticism of his business practices:
Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world.Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016