Two parallel investigations on two different continents into illegal financial activities by Russia, both connected to Donald Trump, may turn out to be the same investigation. Three weeks ago Deutsche Bank in Germany, which has been almost single handedly keeping Trump afloat with loans in recent years, was caught in a massive Russian money laundering scheme. And yesterday it was revealed that the FBI is probing front-companies which Trump and Russia have been allegedly using do secretly to business with each other.
But are these two investigations really the same investigation? That’s the question that no one yet knows for certain, outside of the agencies involved. Donald Trump and his business ventures have already been documented to be around $1.3 billion in debt to Deutsche Bank and its subsidiaries around the world. This has long stood out as a strange development, considering that most banks have for years considered Trump to be too risky to loan money to, due to his propensity for strategic corporate bankruptcy to get out of paying back his loans. And yet Deutsche Bank, despite struggling financially in its own right, has continued to funnel money to Trump with abandon.
That relationship never made any sense until three weeks ago, when Deutsche Bank was nailed by U.S. and European regulators for what British newspaper The Independent described as “alleged money-laundering crimes in Russia.” So was Deutsche Bank being used to funnel money from Russia to Donald Trump all this time, or was it all just one big coincidence that Trump’s favorite bank was caught funneling money from Moscow into his hometown of New York City?
Now comes word yesterday of an FBI investigation into the connections of Donald Trump and his associates to what Reuters is characterizing as “investments by Russians in overseas entities that appear to have been undertaken through middlemen and front companies.” So here’s the billion dollar question: is this FBI investigation into Trump’s clandestine Russian financial connections based on what was exposed in the Russian money laundering probe into Deutsche Bank? More will inevitably leak out from the intel community one way or the other. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report