News & Politics

Report: The Russia Investigation Could Turn Focus Toward Trump’s DC Hotel

Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank for information relating to $300 million in loans it has given to Trump over the years.

Photo of the Trump International Hotel by Jeff Elkins

The federal investigation into the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 presidential election could next turn its lens on the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is leading the investigation, recently issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank, asking the German financial institution for records on its work with President Trump‘s family-owned company, according to Bloomberg News.

The Trump Organization owed Deutsche Bank about $300 million at the time Trump became president, a sum that included a $170 million construction loan to finance the conversion of the Old Post Office into a luxury hotel. Deutsche Bank has also issued mortgages against the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort in Florida and Trump’s hotel-and-condominium tower in Chicago. Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank goes back to at least the late 1990s.

Mueller’s subpoena means that he may be in the process of poking around Trump’s business career. Deutsche Bank has previously declined to share information about Trump with House Democrats, citing the minority party’s lack of subpoena power, but now that Mueller is asking, the bank tells that it “always cooperates with investigating authorities in all countries.”

Asking Deutsche Bank for information about its loans to Trump isn’t a wild, new tangent, though. The bank was fined $670 million in January by regulators in New York State and the United Kingdom for its role in a Russian money-laundering scheme that involved traders in New York, London, and Moscow. A separate Justice Department investigation into the scheme has halted, CNN reported last month.

If there’s any sense of foreboding about Mueller inside the Trump Organization, one would be hard-pressed to find it inside the company’s DC hotel. It recently hosted multiple election-anniversary parties, and next week, a pro-Trump political action committee plans to throw a two-day Christmas party.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.