New York Times story about Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump offers window into what Congress may ask

A New York Times article on President Donald Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank offers a window into the questions lawmakers want his former personal banker to answer.

The Times writes that people familiar with Rosemary Vrablic’s thinking say she expects to be called to testify publicly on Capitol Hill, as two House committees investigate the German lender’s DB, -1.94%DBK, -2.50% relationship with Trump. Vrablic declined to comment for the Times’ article.

If she does testify, lawmakers are likely to ask her about being approached by Trump and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in 2014. Trump was interested in buying the Buffalo Bills, whose owner had died, and estimated his net worth at $8.7 billion. Cohen told Congress in February that Trump exaggerated his wealth. The report says Deutsche executives reached a similar conclusion — but agreed to vouch for Trump’s bid.

The report also says Vrablic and her supervisor tentatively agreed to loans including a $48 million one for the same Chicago Trump International Hotel and Tower that provoked a two-year court fight with Trump. The Times says Trump told Deutsche Bank he’d use that loan to repay what he still owed its investment banking division. The borrowing arrangement — called “an extraordinary act of financial chutzpah” in the article — may provoke questions from members of Congress.

Lawmakers could also question Vrablic about the depth of her relationship with the Trump family.

As the Times piece notes, Deutsche Bank lent money to Trump’s son Donald Jr. for a South Carolina manufacturing venture that went bankrupt. And it provided a $15 million credit line to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his mother, according to documents the Times reviewed. The bank previously had an informal ban on business with the Kushners since Jared’s father Charles was a felon.

Jared Kushner is now a senior White House adviser.

A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman told the Times the bank is “committed to cooperating with authorized investigations.” The White House referred questions to the Trump Organization and a company spokeswoman declined to comment, the Times said.

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