Trump Owes A Foreign Bank At Least $100 Million – And It’s Fighting U.S. Regulators

While the country has a meltdown over Hillary Clinton’s email scandal (even though she didn’t break any federal laws), there seems to be a blind eye on an even bigger scandal – and yes, it would involve Donald Trump.

Mother Jones reports that should Trump win the presidency, he will potentially face having to owe over $100 million to Deutsche Bank, which has sparred with U.S. regulators for years. Such a conundrum would be the biggest conflict of interest any presidential candidate has ever faced.

Here are the facts:

Trump has acquired quite a bit of debt, totaling roughly $355 million (or possibly more) from various loans from a multitude of lenders. His ambiguous financial statement lists 16 loans from 11 different creditors. At least five of these loans are worth $50 million or more, and have no been paid back (at least in full).

Deutsche Bank appears to be Trump’s biggest line of credit, with loans totaling $295 million for two projects alone – $125 million to buy Trump National Doral golf course, and most recently $170 million for his newest project, his hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. With the election a mere five months away, and the hotel slated to open in fall, Trump will (if elected) waltz into the White House owing a foreign bank more than $100 million.

That, as Richard Painter, an attorney who teaches at the University of Minnesota puts it, is very troublesome. For starters, this will mean that as President of the United States, Trump will literally be beholden to a foreign bank. And if it’s anything like his Ocean City Taj Mahal, will it ever be paid? With bookings for his hotels dropping by a whopping 60 percent, who knows. As Painter told Mother Jones:

They [former presidents] had large assets and usually diversified assets. They weren’t in a situation where someone could put pressure on them to do what they want. Whereas having a president who owes a lot of money to banks, particularly when it’s on negotiable terms—it puts them at the mercy of the banks and the banks are at the mercy of regulators. In real estate, the prevailing business model is to own a lot but also owe a lot, and that is a potentially very troublesome business model for someone in public office.

Just because Trump is a billionaire doesn’t mean he’ll pay it all back with full faith. As Mother Jones reminds readers:

In 2005, Trump borrowed $640 million from Deutsche Bank and several other lenders for the construction of a Chicago hotel tower. When he failed to pay back the money on time in 2008, the banks, including Deutsche Bank, demanded he pay up the $40 million he had personally guaranteed. In response, Trump sued Deutsche Bank for $3 billion, saying the project’s financial troubles were the fault of the economic recession, essentially an act of God, and accusing the bank of undermining the project and his reputation.

With no indication of a blind-trust being set up as to avoid a conflict of interest, one could assume Trump would bend the rules in his favor, as he boasts to always doing.

And if that alone wasn’t a reason to be suspicious, Deutsche Bank has been fighting U.S. regulators for years, which would make a partnership with Trump all the more conflicted.

With an ongoing battle of trying to bypass the rules in favor of Wall Street, the German bank was forced to pay a staggering $2.5 billion fine for rigging interest rates. The fine included paying $600 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services, $800 million to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and $775 million to the Department of Justice.

The bank also reached multiple settlements for price fixing metals.

Great business partners you got there, Trump. When Democrats and Republicans say Hillary Clinton is beholden to banks, maybe the attention should be turned to Trump, who literally owes a bank over $100 million.

It’s no wonder Trump has pledge to repeal Dodd-Frank.


Featured image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images