A handful of Democratic lawmakers have renewed their effort to get a powerful House Republican to investigate Deutsche Bank AG’s loans to President Donald Trump and the bank’s role in helping Russians move billions of dollars from Moscow to the west.
In a letter to Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Maxine Waters of California, the committee’s ranking Democrat, urged him to issue subpoenas to Deutsche Bank.
She wants to force the German lender to disclose its internal review of the so-called “mirror-trading” scandal that has cost the bank more than $600 million in fines and penalties, and a separate review it conducted concerning Trump, who borrowed more than $300 million in real estate loans years before running for office.
This is Waters’s fourth attempt to investigate Deutsche Bank. She first urged Hensarling to start a probe in March. In the absence of a response, she then wrote to Deutsche Bank’s chief executive officer, John Cryan, in May, demanding documents and records connected to the Russian scandal and the president’s accounts.
The bank declined, saying it could turn over sensitive records only in response to a congressional subpoena, issued by the head of a committee.
Last month, Waters used a parliamentary maneuver to force a response from Hensarling. Republicans voted down the motion.
“The fact remains that more than four months after we initially called on you to investigate Deutsche Bank’s Russian money-laundering scheme, we still do not know who participated or benefited, or whether the scheme was related to the broader money-laundering scheme known as ’The Global Laundromat,’” Waters wrote in the letter, which was signed by her and four other leading Democrats.
In a written statement, Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Renee Calabro said, “Deutsche Bank takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations into this matter.”
There’s simmering frustration among Democrats on the Financial Services Committee and two other top committees that Republicans who control the House are shirking the panels’ oversight responsibilities over issues tied to the president.
Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has rebuffed requests that his committee look into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian collusion in last year’s presidential campaigns, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, or Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s recusal from Russia-related probes.
Goodlatte has said that there are enough other investigations already under way, including one led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees.
The chairman of the Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, also has said that his committee wouldn’t pursue any inquiries related to the Russia’s election meddling. Gowdy is a member of the Intelligence Committee, which is investigating.