This Week in Conflicts: A close look at President Trump’s Relationship with Deutsche Bank and an NYC councilman says Kushner Companies is Endangering Tenants


Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

This week, the New York Times explains the relationship between President Donald Trump and Deutsche Bank, the New York attorney general says the president should pay a $5.6 million penalty for misuse of Trump Foundation money and a New York City councilman says Kushner Companies is endangering tenants.

President Donald Trump stands with Airman as he prepares to address armed forces members at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Sept. 15, 2017. (Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Delano Scott)

New York AG Trump Investigations

The New York attorney general said President Trump should pay a $5.6 million penalty and $2.8 million in restitution for misusing money from the Trump Foundation for political and business purposes, Bloomberg is reporting.

“Neither Trump nor his three eldest children, all of whom had senior roles at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, have provided evidence rebutting the state’s claims that they failed to meet as a board, oversee grant-making or implement policies to protect the charity’s funds from abuse, New York Attorney General Letitia James said in court papers Thursday,” Bloomberg reports.

In an agreement, President Trump shut down the foundation and gave the New York attorney general oversight over how the remaining funds will be disbursed. The state of New York also wants to ban President Trump and his children from serving on future New York-based nonprofits. The proposed ban for the president is 10 years and the proposed ban for his children is one year. The judge is currently considering that request.

The New York attorney general also opened a civil investigation into President Trump’s real estate projects.

According to NBC Montana, “Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas Monday to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank seeking records related to four Trump real estate projects and his failed 2014 bid to buy the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.”

The subpoenas are for loan applications, mortgages, credit lines and other documents related to President Trump’s properties in Chicago, New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.

Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to President Donald J. Trump, sits in on a meeting with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

Kushner Companies Endangering Tenants?

Jared Kushner and his family’s company is being accused of putting tenants in danger by a New York City councilman.

According to the Associated Press, “New York Oversight Committee Chair Ritchie Torres said his investigation showed that the firm once run by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been renting apartments to hundreds of tenants in nine buildings with certificates of occupancy that expired months or years ago. Torres also said that the company has been trying to push low-paying tenants out of its buildings and didn’t want the regulatory scrutiny that comes with inspections required to renew the certificates.”

The company said the problems date back to when the previous owners owned the property.

According to the Associated Press, “certificates for two of the nine buildings expired while Jared Kushner was CEO.”

Did President Trump Keep his Promises?

In a new story, USA Today looks at whether or not President Trump has kept the 19 promises he laid out before taking office where he said he would avoid conflicts of interest between his role as president and his company’s business dealings.

Of the nineteen promises laid out, USA Today concluded he has kept nine of the promises. Due to limited information being publicly available, the news organization could not determine whether or not another nine of the promises were kept and they determined his promise to not make deals with foreign countries, has not been kept.

According to USA Today, “The Trump Organization has yet to publicly release the trust agreement or any portions of the document showing that transactions with foreign governments are prohibited. The company hasn’t taken any new deals with foreign countries but has continued to work on several foreign deals that were arranged before Trump took office.”

The promises kept include:

  • Transfer assets into a trust
  • Resign from official positions
  • Appoint an ethics advisor
  • Ivanka Trump must resign from her businesses
  • Dispose of easily liquidated investments
  • Trust only holds two kinds of assets
  • Establish a new position of Chief Compliance Officer
  • Restrictions on Trump Organization tweets
  • Donate profits from foreign governments to the U.S. Treasury

President Donald J. Trump leads a video teleconference monitoring current tropical storm conditions and damage assessments in southeastern Texas, Sunday, August 27, 2017, from a conference room at Camp David. (Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Trump and Deutsche Bank

The New York Times published a story on the relationship between President Trump and Deutsche Bank in a new story.

“Mr. Trump and Deutsche Bank were deeply entwined, their symbiotic bond born of necessity and ambition on both sides: a real estate mogul made toxic by polarizing rhetoric and a pattern of defaults, and a bank with intractable financial problems and a history of misconduct. The relationship had paid off. Mr. Trump used loans from Deutsche Bank to finance skyscrapers and other high-end properties, and repeatedly cited his relationship with the bank to deflect political attacks on his business acumen. Deutsche Bank used Mr. Trump’s projects to build its investment-banking business, reaped fees from the assets he put in its custody and leveraged his celebrity to lure clients,” the article reads.

The New York attorney general is currently investigating the president’s financial ties to the bank as are two congressional committees. According to the news story, Deutsche Bank has loaned President Trump more than $2 billion over the years.

More conflicts of interest in the news

About this Project

Sunlight’s “Tracking Trump’s Conflicts of Interest” project provides a free, searchable database detailing President Donald J. Trump’s known business dealings and personal interests that may conflict with his public duties as President of the United States. The project also documents news coverage of these potential conflicts. Read our reporting to stay current on related news, explore our database, and learn more about the project. As we continue to learn about the First Family’s business holdings, the database will be updated. To help with those updates, get involved by contacting us here. You can also contact us if you’re familiar with any of the conflicts we’re tracking.

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning freelance journalist who has worked in investigative, data and TV journalism at the national level as well as locally in California, Ohio, Texas and Florida. She produces content focused on government accountability, public access to information and freedom of expression issues. She’s also helping to rebuild trust between newsrooms and the public through the Trusting News project.