Democrats renew efforts to link banks, Trump and Russia

FRANKFURT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have renewed efforts to find possible links between banks such as Germany's Deutsche Bank DBKGn.DE, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia.

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Investigations are being conducted in the United States into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russia during the presidential election campaign in 2016. The White House and the Kremlin have denied there was any interference in the election.

Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, told reporters she had filed a resolution of inquiry demanding the U.S. Treasury Secretary hand over documents in his possession, “relating to President Trump’s financial connections to Russia, certain illegal financial schemes, and related information”.

The resolution asked for any records of loans or credit from a number of banks - including Deutsche Bank and Russian lenders Sberbank SBER.MM and Gazprombank GZPRI.MM - to Trump, and 22 of his closest associates, including family members and top White House and campaign advisers.

Specifically, the group is seeking documents that may have been unearthed by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that could show any ties between Trump’s finances and Russia.

A resolution of inquiry is a legislative tool by which the House can request information from the administration.

Waters filed the resolution with the Financial Services Committee, which now has 14 legislative days to address it, either by debating it or voting it down.

If the committee, chaired and dominated by Republicans, ignores the resolution, it could head to the floor of the broader House.

Waters and four other colleagues have been especially interested in learning more from Deutsche Bank, which government ethics disclosures list as one of Trump’s biggest lenders.

Deutsche Bank’s lawyers have rejected requests for information, citing privacy laws.

Waters asked Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at a hearing on Wednesday whether the U.S. central bank had uncovered anything about Trump in its Deutsche regulatory work.

Yellen said the Fed had not looked into it.

Reporting by Tom Sims; additional reporting by Pete Schroeder in Washington; editing by David Clarke and David Gregorio