Subpoena for Deutsche Bank may put Mueller on collision course with Trump

06 December, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • Director Defends FBI After Trump Says Bureau Is in 'Tatters'

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office has spent about $3.2 million in the first 4-1/2 months of its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Justice Department revealed in a report on Tuesday.

"Germany's largest bank received a subpoena from Mueller several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions, the person said, without giving details, adding key documents had been handed over in the meantime".

"Deutsche Bank's pattern of involvement in money laundering schemes with primarily Russian participation, its unconventional relationship with the president, and its repeated violations of USA banking laws all raise serious question about whether the bank's reported reviews of the trading scheme and Trump's financial ties to Russia were completely thorough", they wrote.

Deutsche Bank is not the only Trump-related business interest that is attracting the attention of investigators.

At this point, we don't know exactly what Mueller is looking for in the Deutsche Bank records.

In addition, the Justice Department has spent $3.5 million to support the investigation, though the special counsel's office says that money would have been spent anyway if Mueller had not been appointed.

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Though Flynn already admitted that other top transition officials - including Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, and K.T. McFarland, who is now nominated to be the USA ambassador to Singapore - were aware of his Russia-related dealings, Mueller is likely to want to talk to him about a wider range of topics, including whether Trump obstructed justice and tried to short circuit the probe. Kushner also flatly denied Russian financial connections when he talked with members of Congress this fall.

- There's the question of whether Trump or anyone else committed any financial crimes; former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has already been indicted on that score, and there could be more to come. Mueller incorporated several ongoing investigations within the Justice Department including those of Trump campaign contacts with Russian Federation, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's business activities and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

On December 1, Mueller reached a plea agreement with former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to giving misleading the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with then Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.

During his White House campaign, Trump said he would seek to improve ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which had been frequently strained during President Barack Obama's administration.

"I think that's a violation", Mr. Trump told the paper.

So far, the probe has resulted in two indictments and two guilty pleas, none of which are in any way related to charges of "links and/or coordination" with Russian Federation.

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