Donald Trump: Deutsche Bank gets subpoena from Robert Mueller on President's accounts, reports say

Donald Trump: Deutsche Bank gets subpoena from Robert Mueller on President's accounts, reports say

Donald Trump: Deutsche Bank gets subpoena from Robert Mueller on President's accounts, reports say

Updated 6 December 2017, 15:50 AEDT

US special counsel Robert Mueller is reported to have subpoenaed President Donald Trump's financial records from Germany's Deutsche Bank, as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

United States special counsel Robert Mueller is reported to have subpoenaed President Donald Trump's financial records from Germany's Deutsche Bank, as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Key points:

  • White House, Trump lawyer say reports false
  • Deutsche Bank refuses to comments on individual cases
  • Deutsche Bank has loaned Trump Organisation hundreds of millions of dollars

In a statement, the bank said it cooperates with official investigators but would not discuss individual cases.

A person close to the matter said Deutsche Bank received the subpoena several weeks ago to provide information on certain money and credit transactions.

But despite multiple US media outlets reporting that Mr Mueller's investigation had expanded to include Mr Trump's personal financial records, one of the President's lawyers said that was not the case.

"We have confirmed that the news reports that the special counsel had subpoenaed financial records relating to the President are false," Mr Sekulow said in a statement.

"No subpoena has been issued or received. We have confirmed this with the bank and other sources."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said the reports were false.

"This is another example of the media going too far too fast and we don't see it moving in that direction," Ms Sanders said.

During a photo opportunity with senators at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump declined to answer shouted questions from reporters about whether Mr Mueller had crossed a line by asking Deutsche Bank for information.

Earlier this year, Mr Trump said pursuing his personal finances would be a breach of Mr Mueller's role as special counsel.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied any financial connections with Russia.

Deutsche Bank has loaned the Trump Organisation hundreds of millions of dollars for real estate ventures and is one of the few major lenders that has given large amounts of credit to Mr Trump in the past decade.

A string of bankruptcies at his hotel and casino businesses during the 1990s made most of Wall Street wary of extending him credit.

Questions over why Trump wants improved Russia ties

Mr Mueller is investigating alleged Russian attempts to influence the election, and potential collusion by Trump aides.

Russia has denied US intelligence agencies' conclusion that it meddled in the election and Mr Trump has said there was no collusion with Moscow.

A US official with knowledge of Mr Mueller's probe said one reason for the subpoenas was to find out whether Deutsche Bank may have sold some of Mr Trump's mortgage or other loans to Russian state development bank VEB or other Russian banks that now are under US and European Union sanctions.

VEB, as well as the Russian Agricultural Bank and Gazprombank, did not immediately reply to emailed requests for comment.

"No-one from the VTB Group representatives has received a subpoena because there are absolutely no grounds for it," a bank representative said in response to a request from Reuters.

"Deutsche Bank did not contact us regarding people connected with the Trump administration."

A Sberbank representative said: "We would not comment on the existence of any such request, had one been received."

Holding Trump debt, particularly if some of it was or is soon due, could potentially give Russian banks some leverage over the US President, especially if they are state-owned, said a second US official familiar with Russian intelligence methods.

"One obvious question is why Trump and those around him expressed interest in improving relations with Russia as a top foreign policy priority, and whether or not any personal considerations played any part in that," said the second official, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

During his election campaign, Mr Trump said he would seek to improve ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which were strained during former president Barack Obama's administration.

Mr Trump had liabilities of at least $US130 million ($171 million) to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, a unit of the German bank, according to a federal financial disclosure form released in June by the US Office of Government Ethics.

Mr Trump and Deutsche Bank have not always been on good terms.

Mr Trump sued the bank and other lenders in 2008, demanding $US3 billion ($3.9 billion) in damages, claiming they broke agreements in the construction and financing of a Chicago hotel.

Deutsche Bank countersued and the two sides eventually settled.

ABC/Reuters