By Jean Eaglesham, Rebecca Davis O'Brien, Siobhan Hughes and David Benoit
Major Wall Street banks have given congressional committees
investigating President Trump thousands of pages of documents
related to Russians who may have had dealings with Mr. Trump, his
family or his business, people familiar with the congressional
probes said. Some banks are also giving documents related to Mr.
Trump's business, the Trump Organization, to New York state
investigators, people familiar with the New York investigation
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. The investigators are working on a joint probe into
potential foreign influence on Mr. Trump and his family by the
House Financial Services Committee and the House Intelligence
Committee. More information will likely be handed over in coming
weeks as the banks continue to respond to subpoenas sent in April,
the people said.
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
Ms. James's office has also in recent weeks received financing
documents and emails from Investors Bancorp Inc., the people said.
The Short Hills, N.J., regional bank handed over thousands of pages
in response to a civil subpoena demanding information on a 2010
mortgage on Trump Park Avenue, a condominium building in Manhattan
owned by Mr. Trump, the people said.
Mr. Trump has filed several lawsuits seeking to block lawmakers
and states from getting access to his bank, accounting and tax
records. The documents being provided by the banks could give
investigators some of the same information Mr. Trump is trying to
The legal fights "could drag on for months, if not years -- and
that of course is the president's strategy," said Saikrishna
Prakash, a law professor at the University of Virginia. "The
Democrats are seeking to investigate, embarrass the president, and
he's trying to delay his personal finances becoming public."
Mr. Trump is fighting in court to try to stop Deutsche Bank and
Capital One Financial Corp., two of the banks with the most
information on his business, from handing over information to
Congress. A federal appeals court in New York is due this month to
consider a challenge by Mr. Trump, his three oldest children and
his business to subpoenas from the House Intelligence and Financial
Services Committees seeking records from the two banks. The banks
have said they aren't taking any position on whether they should be
compelled to provide information.
Another federal appeals court last month considered a bid by Mr.
Trump and the Trump Organization to block a subpoena issued by the
House Oversight Committee seeking eight years' worth of financial
statements and other records from Mazars USA LLP, Mr. Trump's
longtime accounting firm. Mazars said in a statement it will
"respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal
Mr. Trump also last month sued the Democratic-led U.S. House
Ways and Means Committee, as well as the New York attorney general,
to block the disclosure of years of his state tax returns.
Committee investigators are reviewing the documents provided to
Congress so far by the Wall Street firms, House Financial Services
Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), said in an
interview in June. "We've gotten [information] from a lot of
Senior Democrat House intelligence committee officials said last
month they are looking for evidence of foreign influence on the
administration "whether it was during the campaign, the transition,
the inauguration or currently." Democrats are looking in particular
for any evidence of Russian money going into Trump properties,
according to a person familiar with the matter.
Mr. Trump has accused New York's Ms. James, a Democrat who took
office in January, of "harassing all of my New York businesses" to
make him look bad. Ms. James responded in a tweet that "no one is
above the law, not even the President."
Mr. Trump has publicly declared that he was exonerated by former
special counsel Robert Mueller's nearly two-year probe into alleged
Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. Mr. Mueller in
his report said he wasn't exonerating Mr. Trump.
The New York attorney general's subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and
Investors Bancorp are part of a civil investigation, which could
yield fines or other civil actions if the office alleges
illegality. The Deutsche Bank documents relate to three mortgages
the bank extended to Mr. Trump's business, as well as proposed
financing that didn't go through, people familiar with the New York
investigation said. CNN reported earlier this year that Deutsche
Bank had begun providing financial records to the New York attorney
Mr. Trump is seeking to quash the congressional subpoenas by
arguing that Democrats are exceeding their constitutional powers by
conducting investigations not directly tied to legislation. That
legal argument couldn't be used to contest information demands from
the New York attorney general, lawyers not involved with the
The congressional and state investigations are seeking different
types of information. The congressional subpoenas being contested
in court are seeking a broad range of financial documents from the
Trump family. In contrast, the documents being turned over to the
New York attorney general involve loans to the Trump Organization,
according to people familiar with the New York investigation.
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 meeting, set up at the request of a billionaire
Russian-Azerbaijani real-estate developer's family, became a focal
point in the Mueller investigation. The investigation didn't
establish that anyone affiliated with the Trump presidential
campaign knowingly conspired with Russian efforts to influence the
2016 election, the report 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.
The Trump Organization had explored the possibility of a new Trump
Tower in Moscow before and during the campaign, and Mr. Mueller
reported on the discussions about that project.
Jenny Strasburg contributed to this article.
Write to Jean Eaglesham at email@example.com, Rebecca Davis
O'Brien at Rebecca.OBrien@wsj.com, Siobhan Hughes at
firstname.lastname@example.org and David Benoit at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 08, 2019 05:44 ET (09:44 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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