Congress just received bank records that could finally blow Trump’s Russia connections wide open

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An exclusive report just revealed that House Democrats have actually gathered a lot more financial information about Donald Trump and his Russian ties than previously known.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that some of the extensive information on Trump’s finances may even render moot the president’s desperate court fights against Congress to prevent disclosure from his bank partner, Deutsche Bank and from his accounting firm, Mazars.

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The Journal also revealed that there is a previously under-reported joint investigation between the House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence Panel.

Six major banks or Wall Street firms have already turned over information on the Trump Organization’s business dealings to Congress, and a seventh bank who financed one of Donald Trump’s flagship midtown Manhattan condo-conversion projects named Trump Park Avenue. The WSJ reports (here without a paywall):

“Wall Street firms including Bank of America Corp. , Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG , JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. have recently provided thousands of financial documents related to Russians who may have had dealings with Mr. Trump or his family or his business to congressional investigators, according to people familiar with the congressional probes.

Separately, Deutsche Bank, Mr. Trump’s primary bank, has turned over emails, loan agreements and other documents related to the Trump Organization to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena sent earlier this year, according to people familiar with the New York investigation. Ms. James’s office has also in recent weeks received financing documents and emails from Investors Bancorp Inc., the people said.”

“Deutsche Bank has a lot of exposure to knowingly providing banking services to disreputable sources, and their executives may be looking to cut a deal to manage their own exposure to liabilities for doing so,” says a well-placed source on The Hill familiar with the proceedings, who that said the Journal’s story doesn’t come as a surprise. “This is the real reason why Trump has been going after Chairman Waters in public for a long time.”

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“There is a knot of crimes here, and the House committees are each pulling the threads of the same problem,” says the source. “This is the first time we’re seeing a tangible result of a joint investigation.”

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Significantly, the banking records could shed even more light on the financial dealings between Donald Trump and the Crocus Group, a firm led by an Azerbaijani-Russian oligarch named Aras Agalarov whose son set up the infamous Trump Tower meeting with an emissary of Putin’s government. The Journal reports:

“The information already handed to Congress by banks includes records on Russian business people connected to a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 involving members of Mr. Trump’s family, the people familiar with the congressional probes said.

The congressional subpoenas are also seeking any information the banks may have about Russians connected to conversations the Trump organization officials had about a potential real-estate development in Moscow, one person familiar with the matter said.”

If that wasn’t bad enough, New York state investigators are apparently making major headway in their civil case by following the money when they obtained the Trump Organization’s loan records from a bank heavily implicated in Russian money laundering scams.

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This past June, the House Finance Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) told the Journal that her panel has gotten information from a lot of banks, which the New York-based newspaper just revealed today.

In addition, their report says that Congress is seeking a very broad range of financial records to support a joint investigation between the House Intel panel and Finance Committee.

Donald Trump’s debt-driven business empire crumbled into ruins in the early 90s, and domestic banks stopped doing business with him. Foreign investors stepped in to prop up the tarnished Trump, making loans that American banks wouldn’t touch.

Now, after years of investigations, it looks like the people of America just moved a giant leap forward towards learning exactly who, or what country, is pulling on Donald Trump’s purse strings, while he unconstitutionally enriches himself with foreign cash and gifts from countries around the world.

If the House Democrats successfully follow the money—just like happened in Watergate—then it will not be a Special Counsel, but rather Congress who scratches up the key evidence necessary to evict a president from office.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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