The Manhattan district attorney’s office subpoenaed Deutsche Bank as part of a wide-ranging investigation into President Donald Trump’s business dealings, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Prosecutors issued the subpoena last year and are seeking records that the president and his company, the Trump Organization, provided to Deutsche Bank, according to the report. Specifically, prosecutors asked for documents that could point to potential fraud. The bank complied with the subpoena and turned over Trump’s financial statements and other records to investigators, the report said.
Deutsche Bank has been Trump’s primary lender for over two decades and is at the center of several financial controversies related to his business practices.
The Manhattan DA’s office, headed by District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., is currently in a drawn-out legal battle with the president over its investigation into illegal hush-money payments made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
Vance is investigating whether the Trump Organization violated any state laws while facilitating the payments to Daniels. Trump’s former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused the president and senior executives at his company of engaging in “financial fraud” while coordinating the payments.
New York prosecutors subpoenaed eight years of Trump’s personal tax returns after Cohen’s testimony. Trump, in turn, sought to block the subpoena by arguing that a sitting president is immune from criminal investigation or prosecution.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that the Manhattan DA’s subpoena is valid but noted that Trump could still raise constitutional and legal objections to the subpoena in court, which the president is now doing. Trump’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to toss out the subpoena, arguing that it is overly broad because it seeks eight years of the president’s tax returns when the investigation itself is primarily centered around the 2016 hush-money payments.
But in a court filing this week, prosecutors hinted that the investigation is far more wide-ranging than previously known. Specifically, they pointed to “public reports of possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization” as the basis for seeking nearly a decade’s worth of Trump’s personal taxes.
One Washington Post story prosecutors cited said the president may have illegally inflated his net worth and property value to lenders. Another Wall Street Journal article prosecutors cited described Cohen’s testimony to Congress last year, in which he said Trump deflated his net worth for tax benefits.
“These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders,” Vance’s court filing said. “This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct.”
The Times reported Wednesday that although Deutsche Bank has been entangled in several regulatory and congressional probes because of its relationship with the president, Vance’s investigation is the first criminal investigation the bank has been drawn into connected to Trump.
That said, the investigation is still in an early stage, a person briefed on the matter told The Times.
Trump’s lawyers have denied any wrongdoing, and at a press briefing earlier this week Trump called the apparent investigation a “witch hunt.”