WASHINGTON — House Democrats have procured thousands of documents about the finances of wealthy Russians who might have links to Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unidentified people familiar with the probe.
Those records may provide a back door into learning about Trump’s ties to foreign sources of income, and a way around his lawsuits to block Congressional investigations into his finances.
The list of banks who’ve handed over information includes Trump’s longtime favorite lender, Deutsche Bank, along with Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, according to the report.
Trump is waging a legal battle to stop his banks from sharing information with Congress, prompting a courtroom fight that could take months, if not years, to play out — even if he eventually loses. But getting documents about the finances of Russians could yield insight into Trump’s financial history, even while the wrangling over his own records drags on.
In a separate investigation, the New York attorney general’s office has also obtained a stack of documents from Deutsche Bank relating to Trump’s family business, the Trump Organization, the WSJ said.
Deutsche has handed over emails, loan agreements, and other documents about the Trump Organization to New York Attorney General Letitia James in response to a civil subpoena sent earlier this year.
The House Intel and House Financial Services Committees have subpoenaed records from Deutsche and Capital One Financial Corp., two banks with significant ties to Trump. A federal appeals court will consider Trump’s attempt to quash to those requests later this month.
Deutsche has had a longer and deeper relationship with Trump’s family business than any other major global bank, lending him hundreds of millions over the years. Deutsche kept extending Trump credit even after other Wall Street banks deemed him too risky to touch, raising questions about how he managed to convince the German lender to let him borrow so much.
Congress has already received records about Russians connected to the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016, the Journal reported. The meeting was set up by the family of a Russian-Azerbaijani billionaire named Aras Agalarov, who was Trump’s partner in hosting the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.
Representatives of the House Intelligence Committee and the New York AG’s office declined to comment.
Cover: President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, in the afternoon to praise first responders and console family members and survivors from two recent mass shootings. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)