Deutsche Bank Turns Down U.S. Senators’ Bid for Trump Details

(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG has turned down a request by four U.S. senators including Elizabeth Warren to release details about the lender’s contacts with the family business of President Donald Trump, which asked the bank for leniency on some of its loans.

In a letter to Deutsche Bank earlier this month, Democratic senators Richard Blumenthal, Sherrod Brown, Chris Van Hollen and Warren, the one-time presidential candidate, said that contact between the Frankfurt-based lender and the Trump Organization raises “troubling new concerns about the extent to which Deutsche Bank holds financial leverage over the president,” and whether administration officials would offer “regulatory favors” as enticement.

On behalf of Deutsche Bank, law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP responded in a letter dated April 21 and obtained by Bloomberg, saying that “there is a critical legal distinction between inquiries conducted pursuant to congressional rules adopted by duly authorized committees, on the one hand, and informational requests made by individual members, on the other.”

Deutsche Bank needs to respect the legal and contractual boundaries that exist with respect to confidential information, it said.

“Deutsche Bank must answer our questions”, Warren said in an emailed response. “It’s outrageous we don’t know what secret favors the president and his family might be getting from the bank, or what favors the bank may be getting in return. I’ll keep working to hold the president accountable for his conflicts of interest.”

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment, other than saying that Germany’s biggest bank remains “committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.”

Trump Organization representatives reached out to Deutsche Bank’s private-banking unit in New York late last month as the coronavirus pandemic forces widespread disruptions to the economy, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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