The Trump Organization sought a loan from Deutsche Bank during the 2016 campaign, before being rejected in part because the bank was unsure where the money would go, the New York Times reported this weekend.
The Trump Org asked Deutsche Bank to increase a preexisting loan it had out to a Florida golf resort in March 2016 in order to finance work at a Scottish property.
The lender reportedly declined the request amid concerns from Deutsche Bank executives that Trump’s candidacy made the loan a huge reputational risk, and about where the money would actually go.
A separate Wall Street Journal story on the matter cited unnamed sources as saying that a concern was “whether the financing could possibly be funneled elsewhere out of the bank’s control, such as to benefit Mr. Trump’s campaign for the U.S. presidency.”
Deutsche Bank and the Trump Organization have a long relationship that has begun to spark interest from congressional investigators. The Frankfurt-based lender extended loans to Trump when few other financial institutions would.
Rep. Schiff told the New Yorker in December that “Deutsche Bank is one obvious place to start” as part of an investigation into potential money laundering at the Trump Org.
A Schiff spokesman declined to comment to TPM.
The Wall Street Journal published additional reports over the weekend saying that after Trump was elected, Deutsche Bank scrambled to drop a $600 million loan it had made to VTB, a Russian bank that was sanctioned by the U.S. government in 2014 over the Ukraine crisis.
VTB has drawn scrutiny over claims reportedly made by Trump associate Felix Sater, who supposedly told Michael Cohen that VTB was lined up to finance the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
Deutsche Bank reportedly managed to sell half of the loan to Alfa Bank, another Russian lender, as part of a bid to reduce its exposure to Russia amid the furor over allegations around meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
The House Financial Services Committee is reportedly expected to open an investigation into the matter.
A spokeswoman for the committee did not immediately return a request for comment.