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Mueller subpoenas bank records in Russian Federation probe

07 December 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office spent $3.2 million during the first few months of his investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with associates of President Donald Trump.

Specific requests of the bank were not immediately clear but ABC News has previously reported Deutsche Bank loaned the Trump Organization more than $300 million for real estate transactions prior to Trump becoming president.

"The Washington Post and The New York Times reported Saturday that a lead FBI investigator on the Mueller probe, Peter Strzok, was demoted this summer after it was discovered he'd sent anti-Trump texts to a mistress", the Journal said.

Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank stretches back some two decades and the roughly $300 million he owed to the bank represented almost half of his outstanding debt, according to a July 2016 analysis by Bloomberg.

The news came days after Mueller unveiled his fourth indictment in the sprawling Russian Federation probe, which is examining possible collusion between Trump's presidential campaign and what United States intelligence believes was an effort by Moscow to tilt the election in his favor.

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Whether Mueller's team will investigate Trump's personal business dealings remains an open question.

In a statement, the bank said it cooperates with official investigators but would not discuss individual cases.

During his election campaign, Mr Trump said he would seek to improve ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which were strained during former president Barack Obama's administration. "We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources".

In June, Deutsche Bank already rejected demands by US House Democrats to provide details of Trump's finances, saying sharing client data would be illegal unless it received a formal request to do so.

The Trump International Hotel is shown on August 10, 2017 in Washington.

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Bloomberg News and Handelsblatt reported yesterday that Mueller had subpoenaed the German lender to hand over financial information about Trump and members of his family. In July, he told the New York Times such an action would amount to crossing a red line.

In January, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay US$630 million in fines for organising US$10 billion in sham trades that could have been used to launder money out of Russian Federation.

Democratic senators, including Dianne Feinstein, suggested after the Flynn plea that Mueller might be building an obstruction of justice case against Trump.

Mueller's team has also been interviewing White House aides in recent weeks, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg, according to people familiar with the investigation. Over the weekend on Twitter, he attacked the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller's team and defended some of Flynn's actions.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reiterated Sekulow's denial of the reporting during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

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Mueller subpoenas bank records in Russian Federation probe