Congressional Democrats issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank AG and other banks to obtain long-sought documents indicating whether foreign nations tried to influence USA politics, signaling an escalation of their probes into President Donald Trump's finances and business dealings with Russians.
With the Democrats in charge of the House of Representatives, they have been putting heat on the Trump administration and their latest move is to try to shed some light on the president's personal finances.
Deutsche Bank said in January, shortly after Democrats took control of the House following the November elections, that it had received an inquiry from the two committees on its ties to the Republican president.
Deutsche Bank has been increasingly identified by congressional investigators as a possible vulnerability for Trump.
The bank said through a spokesperson that it "is engaged in a productive dialogue with the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees".
"We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations", the bank said in a statement.
While a few of the CEOs acknowledged internal reviews, they revealed little about client activity.
House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said, "The potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern".
The subpoenas are part of a broader effort by Democrats to establish new information about Trump's financial dealings.
"The two committees that issued the subpoena. also demanded documents from numerous other financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, related to possible money-laundering by people in Russian Federation and Eastern Europe", the Times reported.
Deutsche Bank is a German asset management firm that has lent Trump's real estate organization millions of dollars over time.
As Common Dreams reported a year ago, German police raided Deutsche Bank's Frankfurt headquarters in November in connection with the Panama Papers money laundering investigation. Now, the president's lawyers are telling the firm that there could be consequences if they comply with a subpoena from the Democrat-controlled body that expected to be issued on Monday.
"The information that could bring down Trump", wrote John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy In Focus, at Common Dreams past year, "may be somewhere in the Deutsche Bank files".
Deutsche Bank had been Trump's go-to lender for decades, even as other commercial banks stopped doing business with him because of multiple bankruptcies.
The transactions Trump conducted with the bank are of interest not just to Democratic lawmakers investigating the president.