Uh Oh, Donald Trump! DEUTSCHE BANK COMETH!
Throughout the Trump campaign and presidency, there is one major thing President Gold Potty has most not wanted to talk about or reveal, and that is the contents of his taxes and financial records. (You know, besides the extent of his collusions and conspiracies and cahootses with Russia. And that might be the same thing as the other thing.) Everything else ... we're not going to say it's been fair game, because fucker's got a LOT of secrets and commits LOTS of crimes in plain sight, but that's the only thing that, when Democrats took the House of Representatives, he literally hired an entire new law firm to keep hidden, and those lawyers have been suing the pants off literally everybody who dares to ask to see Trump's financials and taxes. (And they've been using the world's most dumbfuckingest "legal" arguments in so doing!)
And the question has always been WHY? Is it because Trump's not as rich as he says he is? PFFFFT. Everybody assumes that, and he'd likely just explain to his pig-smell followers that of course all smart rich people look like they're not worth very much on paper. Trust him, he is a YOOGE BILLIONAIRE, and he is a poor man's idea of a rich man, so they'll buy it. Is it that he doesn't pay hardly fuck-all in taxes? He admitted as much during the campaign, in a debate, and said it was because he was smart. Nah, there's gotta be other shit in there he's desperate to hide.
Lawrence O'Donnell reported a thing on his MSNBC show last night that might be a clue to what Trump's trying to hide, and IF TRUE, it is definitely a "NO PUPPET! NO PUPPET! YOU ARE THE PUPPET!" situation. We emphasize IF TRUE, because O'Donnell is emphasizing IF TRUE, as it at this point is a single-source report.
That said, IF TRUE:
The first part, like we said, completely expected. The second? Whoa. (IF TRUE.) Russian oligarch co-signers?
(Did we mention IF TRUE? Remember back in 2017, when somebody tried to fool Rachel Maddow with a forged Trump-Russia collusion document, at which point the real story became that someone or a group of someones was trying to fool journalists with fake Russia-style disinformation scoops, because Rachel Maddow is not A Idiot? The point is IF TRUE. We're waiting for more confirmation before we talk about this without saying IF TRUE.)
We should note very prominently here that Donald Trump's lawyers are VERY MAD AT LAWRENCE O'DONNELL RIGHT NOW:
UPDATE: And now Lawrence O'Donnell has responded.
So MSNBC is holding him to the wall for this, which is in part to be expected, since it's just a single source. Of course, the story is not over, and we note that O'Donnell didn't exactly retract what he reported, but just rather said he shouldn't have reported it. We're just as interested as you are to see where this goes! UPDATE OVER!
So either O'Donnell's single-source reporting was wildly wrong, or it was wildly right and Team Trump is freaked out. Oh well, if Trump decided to sue O'Donnell, discovery might be a bitch!
Anyway, we don't know if it's true. But IF IT'S TRUE, man oh man, that would explain a lot. If Trump needs Russian oligarch co-signers to get his hinky loans approved, that would begin answering so many questions. Like:
1. What does Russia have on Trump and why does he bend over backward like an acrobatic Pomeranian to appease the Kremlin's every whim? Is it because they're literally bankrolling him, even more than we thought they were, to the point of signing his loans? Because remember, in Russia, if you are an oligarch, that is because Vladimir Putin is allowing you to be one. They all are controlled by him, therefore IF TRUE, Putin's got Trump over an even bigger barrel than Christopher Steele's sources told him.
2. Why the fuck, after every other good bank in the US and A decided it wouldn't touch Trump with a 10-foot pole, was Deutsche Bank suddenly so willing to lend Trump millions of dollars? Especially if, as we suspect, he doesn't really have that much money on paper. It's not because Arty McDeals was good at business. LOL! So then what?
3. Why can't we just see his fucking financials and his tax returns? Jesus Christ.
Maybe Junior and the Dumb One weren't kiddin' when they said they get everything they need out of Russia! (By the by, Foreign Policy has a great long read on how Russians saved Trump's bad-at-business loser ass. It is good for context!)
What's Definitely True? DEUTSCHE BANK COMETH IS TRUE!
In very related news, a three-judge panel in the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, hearing the case over whether to require Trump's favorite lender, Deutsche Bank, to comply with subpoenas from the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees to GIVE IT the president's financial records, gave the bank until yesterday to answer one simple question -- do you have Trump's damn tax returns? (If you watched Rachel Maddow last night, you saw what a hard question this was for Deutsche Bank's counsel to answer!) It's not an unreasonable question. When a man loves an ugly gold plated high rise building very much, he has to go to the bank and show it how many dollars he has, and that often naturally involves handing over copies or drafts of tax returns. And so it would follow that Deutsche Bank might have some. BUT DOES IT?
Clearly it do!
The bank's public redacted response filed Tuesday did not identify by name whose records it has. [...]
"Based on Deutsche Bank's current knowledge and the results of the extensive searches that have already been conducted, the Bank has in its possession tax returns (in either draft or as-filed form) responsive to the Subpoenas," the bank's lawyers told the New York-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
The subpoenas went to both Deutsche Bank and Capital One, but Cap One says it ain't got no tax returns, just financial docs. So whose taxes does Deutsche Bank have? Well ...
[T]he Bank has in its possession tax returns (in either draft or as-filed form) responsive to the Subpoenas for [REDACTED]. In addition, the Bank has such documents related to parties not named in the Subpoenas but who may constitute "immediate family" within the definition provided in the subpoenas.
So, the subpoenas were for Trump, his businesses, his kids, and other members of his "immediate family." And "in addition" to having some shit on REDACTED, the bank also has documents related to people who may constitute "immediate family." No idea who they might be JARED talking about, it is a NANCY DREW AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING JARED mystery.
House counsel Doug Letter noted in court in May that these House investigations are about much more than Donald Trump. Here, from reporter Adam Klasfeld's live tweeting of the oral arguments in the Southern District of New York:
Money laundering. Foreign entities, including Russian oligarchs and criminals, who've used Trump's properties to launder money forfuckingever. (And maybe even co-signing? IF THAT'S TRUE?) And again, why was Deutsche Bank willing to lend to Trump when all the other banks treated him like leaking genital scabs?
Of course, this is just one of the many cases working its way through the courts right now, in efforts to get Trump's tax returns and financials. There's the Mazars case, which is basically parallel to this one, subpoenaing Trump's accounting firm for its financial records on him. There's New York State Attorney General Letitia James and her quest to get Trump's financials and give them to the House Ways and Means Committee. And there's also the separate path of litigation from the House Ways and Means Committee to get the Treasury Department to comply with the fucking law that says "GIVE IT" when the committee requests somebody's tax returns. Did we forget one? Maybe probably!
It's worth noting again that Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank has always been weird and strange and gross and weird and strange and also gross. As we've noted, no other bank would touch Trump, because he was a bad risk. Hell, he even fucked Deutsche Bank! AND THEY KNEW IT! In response, they shunted him off to the private banking section, and kept giving him money. Why? Fuck if we know! And then there's that thing where Trump transactions were flagged by Deutsche Bank's own people as suspicious, things that should be sent to the Treasury Department's financial crimes monitoring unit, and yet bigwigs at the bank decided nah, fuck it, it's probably all hunky dory and shit.
Deutsche Bank financed Trump's crap palace (a $170 million loan) in DC at the Old Post Office, where Attorney General Bill Barr is spending $30,000 or more of his own money to hold a holiday party, which is a lot more than the $20 DoJ employees are allowed to spend on Crimmus gifts for their bosses. Deutsche Bank financed the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, which Reuters describes as being "up to $640 million." Deutsche Bank also financed Trump's Doral resort near the airport in Miami, where he wants to host next year's G7, which has been hemorrhaging money. (Hard to withhold an invitation to Putin if he technically owns Doral HAHAHAHAHAHA OMG. Allegedly!)
Of course, back in 2017, in a completely unrelated matter, Deutsche Bank got slapped with $630 million in fines for "organizing $10 billion in sham trades that could have been used to launder money out of Russia." Not that Donald Trump would know anything about that.
OH YEAH OH YEAH OH YEAH and Deutsche Bank has also thrown millions of ameros at Jared Kushner's face! Jared got a very strange $285 million loan from Deutsche Bank one month before the 2016 election, right when the bank was in the middle of settling all that Russian money laundering business. Kushner used the money to refinance part of a New York building he bought from a company controlled by an Israeli citizen from Uzbekistan named Lev Leviev, who has called himself a "true friend" of Vladimir Putin's.
So golly that's weird!
At one time, we thought Special Counsel Robert Mueller was following Trump's money, because that's what the reporting said, but it turns out he had a far more limited view of his mandate than that (for better or for worse, by which we mean worse). But do remember please that one of the times Trump tried to get Robert Mueller fired, it was because the news said he was following Trump's dirty money up Deutsche Bank's dirty ass.
So anyway, that's what all these entities are doing now, following Trump's dirty money all the way up Deutsche Bank's dirty ass.
And oh boy, it looks like they might just hit DIRTY DIRTY PAYDIRTY very soon.
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