Deutsche Bank and Money Laundering (w/ David Enrich)
ED HARRISON: Well, one thing that I think is interesting when you talk about the money laundering, is the connection to Trump and that as soon as you speak of money laundering of Russians, I think immediately of all of the assets that he has in Miami and other places where these companies, did you uncover any connection between these money launderers and the Deutsche Bank connection to Trump at all? DAVID ENRICH: What I uncovered, there are a couple of them I uncovered that are not exactly fitting that bill but, in the ballpark, and one was in the mid-2000s when Trump and some of his real estate partners were trying to build big resorts in places like Hawaii, or Baja California. Deutsche Bank organized events for them in London and elsewhere, where basically Deutsche Bank brought a lot of its wealthy clients out to meet Donald Trump and his development partners. Some of those clients who ended up buying big blocks of condos in these planned or actual developments were wealthy Russians, including some with connections to the Kremlin, or to Putin himself. Look, there's definitely, I have no evidence or even real reason to believe that that was money laundering, but it was certainly Trump doing business with anonymous shell companies that were ultimately owned by people that had very close ties to the Kremlin, and who'd made a lot of money in a period when a lot of wealth was going to a very few people in Russia. That's the one thing too, is that around 2015, 2016, 2017. This is before, during and after the presidential campaign, the anti-money laundering specialists in Deutsche Bank's compliance officers found a number of what they regarded as suspicious transactions in the Trump accounts and also the accounts of Jared Kushner and his companies. Some of these involved money that was being moved from those accounts to the accounts of wealthy Russians. That was enough for the compliance officers at Deutsche Bank to think that this needs to be reported to the government as a potential money laundering risk. They type up the suspicious activity reports the way they're supposed to, and normally, it's just you err on the side of submitting those reports rather than not submitting those reports. In this case, it went up through a couple levels of management at the bank and the decision was made not to file the suspicious activity reports. That was alarming to some of the people inside Deutsche Bank in the compliance departments so much so that they complained about it, which is not a not a recipe-- ED HARRISON: Risk [indiscernible] basically. DAVID ENRICH: Yeah, and that's not a recipe for longevity at Deutsche Bank. Sure enough, at least one of these people who spoke up and was very alarmed about this got transferred out of that division and then in 2018, was fired. Look, there is a tremendous amount of smoke linking Deutsche Bank to Trump to Russia. I wouldn't say there's fire but there's a tremendous amount of smoke and a lot of circumstantial evidence. ED HARRISON: That might be one of the reasons that he's like, stay out of my finances, because that's back then, and I don't want to open that up. DAVID ENRICH: Look, this is this is about to come to a head because Deutsche Bank, last spring, these two congressional committees controlled by Democrats subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for all of its Trump records essentially and including not just Trump's tax returns and bank statements and balance sheet information, but also any internal records Deutsche Bank had about potential money laundering concerns or things like that. The Trump family, as soon as those subpoenas were issued, sued Deutsche Bank to prevent it from complying with those subpoenas. This litigation has been working its way through the federal court system and two federal courts have ruled against the Trumps and ruled that Deutsche Bank does need to comply with these subpoenas. The Trumps appealed to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court is about to hear oral arguments on this and there's a decision expected by June. ED HARRISON: Ooh, that's a very bad timing. DAVID ENRICH: Well, it depends on your perspective, I guess. It means that if the court upholds these lower court rulings, which there's no guarantee will happen, but if it does, Deutsche Bank presumably is going to be handing over troves of detailed financial information to Trump's bitter enemies in Congress, and that is, look, we don't know what's in those files exactly. We don't know if it's got, we just have no idea what. What we do know, and we get the whole world can see very clearly, is the vigor with which Trump is fighting to prevent these records from being disclosed. That suggests that there's stuff in there that he is very worried about seeing the light of day. Now, that could mean anything. That could mean that maybe he's just not nearly as wealthy as he's purported to be. That's on the benign end of things. On the other end of things, maybe there's stuff in there that shows some unsavory business partners overseas or shows him not paying taxes, or, who knows. I don't want to speculate but there's no question about how Trump has been fighting tooth and nail to keep this stuff out of the public domain. To me at least, that suggests there is something that he's worried about getting out.