Donald Trump, Justice Kennedy, and Deutsche Bank

Yesterday, Adam Liptak and Maggie Haberman penned a piece for the New York Times headlined: "Inside the White House's Quiet Campaign to Create a Supreme Court Opening." Buried 15 paragraphs into the piece comes this passage:
But they had a connection, one Mr. Trump was quick to note in the moments after his first address to Congress in February 2017. As he made his way out of the chamber, Mr. Trump paused to chat with the justice.

"Say hello to your boy," Mr. Trump said. "Special guy."

Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Justice Kennedy's son, Justin. The younger Mr. Kennedy spent more than a decade at Deutsche Bank, eventually rising to become the bank's global head of real estate capital markets, and he worked closely with Mr. Trump when he was a real estate developer, according to two people with knowledge of his role.

During Mr. Kennedy's tenure, Deutsche Bank became Mr. Trump's most important lender, dispensing well over $1 billion in loans to him for the renovation and construction of skyscrapers in New York and Chicago at a time other mainstream banks were wary of doing business with him because of his troubled business history.
Deutsche Bank didn't just do regular old business with Trump. As I noted in February of 2017, it appears that Deutsche Bank was helping Trump play a real estate shell game:
Further, the Guardian piece reveals: "According to an analysis by Bloomberg, Trump now owes Deutsche around $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche's private bank. The loans are guaranteed against the president's properties: a new deluxe hotel in Washington DC's old Post Office building, just round the corner from the White House; his Chicago tower hotel; and the Trump National Doral Miami resort."

Except: There's a mistake there. Trump leases the Post Office. He cannot take out a mortgage on it. What he has is a loan that he "personally guaranteed."

A personal guarantee means no collateral. And if the loan goes south, then the lender can seize assets. But if Trump's got mortgages against his other assets, that means he's got nothing. No equity to seize. It's a shell game.
And it's a shell game that may have been part of a larger scheme that involved Russian money laundering via real estate, which is partly why Deutsche Bank was being scrutinized by Special Counsel Bob Mueller. I wrote in December of 2017:
First, a brief history of Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank: After a series of bankruptcies and other bad financial decisions made the Trump Organization toxic to lenders, Deutsche Bank, who inexplicably continued to do business with Trump, became his biggest financer.

In February, a report in the Guardian, about Deutsche Bank doing an "internal investigation" for any potential ties between Trump's accounts in Russia, noted that Trump owed Deutsche Bank around $300 million in loan repayments.

He has a long history and a lot of debt with Deutsche Bank, who themselves have a history of shady dealings in the U.S., which has prompted a number of federal investigations. In January, they were fined $630 million by the U.S. Department of Justice for helping Russian oligarchs launder their money.

Trump isn't the only member of his administration with deep ties to Deutsche Bank. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also has a complex and troubling relationship to the bank. And Jared Kushner's real estate company had finalized a $285 million loan with Deutsche Bank right before the election, which he subsequently failed to disclose. Caroline O. has even more in a Twitter thread beginning here.

In May, House Democrats asked Deutsche Bank "to hand over its findings on two politically charged matters — its banking on behalf of [Donald] Trump and trades from the bank's Moscow operation that helped move some $10 billion out of Russia." They refused, citing client confidentiality.

But now Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued a subpoena requesting "information on certain money and credit transactions" regarding "accounts held by [Trump] and his family."
And at that point, Deutsche Bank complied with Mueller's investigation. Of course we don't yet know what the outcome of that is, since Mueller hasn't disclosed his findings.

It's important to note that Mueller's subpeona and Deutsche Bank's compliance happened in December, because we learned in April that Trump had moved to fire Mueller in December — and that it was specifically because he was subpoenaing Deutsche Bank for records regarding Trump and his family.

So Trump is very tetchy regarding his relationship with Deutsche Bank, and now, in an article about how Trump orchestrated a campaign to get Kennedy to retire from the Supreme Court, we learn that Kennedy's son was working for Deutsche Bank in the capacity of lending Trump enormous sums of money in a possibly illegal scheme connected to Russian money laundering.

Meanwhile, as Rep. Maxine Waters has to cancel public appearances because she's getting death threats ostensibly in response to her advocacy of publicly protesting members of the Trump Regime, it's probably worth recalling that Waters has been connecting the dots on Trump, Deutsche Bank, and Russia since March of 2017.

What does all of this mean? That's uncertain. What is clear, however, is that there is deep and extensive corruption at the heart of this administration, and the son of the Supreme Court justice who just abruptly retired is directly connected to it.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus