New York prosecutors investigating Donald Trump’s finances have previously issued a summons to Deutsche Bank, one of the president’s most important creditors in the business, as part of their investigation – and the bank has complied, according to the New York Times.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Cyrus Vance, has been searching eight years for the president̵
Vance’s lawyers told a judge in New York on Monday that he was justified in demanding the documents from Trump, citing public reports of “widespread and prolonged criminal behavior in the Trump organization.”
A report emerged Wednesday that Vance’s office sued the German lender last year in what the New York Times said was a sign that their criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices was more extensive than previously known.
The report notes that this appears to be the first instance of a criminal investigation into Trump and his dealings with Deutsche Bank.
The German bank, which has been a long-standing source of funding for Trump’s real estate empire, complied with a summons and handed over records delivered by Trump to the bank while applying for loans, the report said, citing unnamed sources who know investigation.
Trump’s lawyers said last month that the grand jury summons for the president’s tax returns was issued in bad faith and was harassment.
In a lawsuit Monday, however, Vance’s lawyers said Trump’s arguments that the summons was too broad stemmed from the “false premise” that the investigation was limited to so-called “cash payments.”
They said the public report showed that at the time the summons was issued, “there were public allegations of possible criminal activity in Trump’s organization based in the plaintiff’s New York County, dating back a decade.”
They added: “These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate participants based in New York County, but whose conduct sometimes extends beyond New York. This possible criminal activity has occurred within the applicable statute of limitations, especially if the transactions involve a continuous pattern of conduct. “
Vance partially sought tax records to investigate how Michael Cohen, Trump’s former correctional officer and now convicted felon, arranged to prevent adult film producer and actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougall from filing claims of extramarital affairs with Trump in 2016 d. presidential race. Trump denied the affair.
The New York Times also reported Wednesday that a subpoena to Deutsche Bank was looking for any material that could point to possible fraud, and that Deutsche’s cooperation contrasted with many other attempts to access Trump’s financial records over the years, which were blocked by successful legal challenges.
Other investigators have asked for records from Deutsche Bank, one of the few banks willing to lend to Trump after a series of corporate bankruptcies that began in the early 1990s.
Two congressional committees, controlled by Democrats, called on the bank for documents related to Trump, who filed a lawsuit to block their release.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, also called on the bank for records related to Trump last year after Cohen’s testimony.
Trump said all investigations were politically motivated. Earlier this week, he called Vance’s investigation a “continuation of the witch hunt.”