In his attorney general confirmation hearings today, Sen. Jeff Sessions was asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., whether he would appoint a special prosecutor to administer the multiple Justice Department investigations against Deutsche Bank, given their financial ties to president-elect Trump. Sessions responded by saying he didn’t know how to respond, because “I’m not aware of that case.”
He should be.
Like practically every major financial institution, Deutsche Bank stands accused of peddling securities during the housing bubble backed by toxic mortgages, without telling investors about the risks. Other settlements over similar misconduct by Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase have led to billions of dollars in fines.
But Deutsche Bank is notable, because it is Trump’s lender of last resort for his many real estate properties. Trump has borrowed at least $2.5 billion from Deutsche Bank since 1998, including $364 million in mortgages for four properties in the past few years. With not only the mortgage securities fraud investigation but other legal cases pending, it is natural to speculate whether Trump would use his powers as president to intervene. And a special prosecutor would at least grant nominal independence to the cases.