January 4, 2020
Russian Underwriter VTB May Have Been Behind Mysterious Donald Trump Deutsche Bank Loans, Per 'Forensic News'

The son of a Deutsche Bank executive who committed suicide in 2014 says he has told the FBI that at least some of the bank's unexplained $1 billion in loans to a six-time bankrupt Donald Trump were underwritten by a Russian government-run bank. Val Broeksmit says that he has shared files and emails from his late father, William S. Broeksmit, with federal investigators now probing the dealings of Deutsche Bank, according to a report published by Forensic News.

Shortly after publishing its report on Broeksmit's allegations, the Forensic News site went offline, possibly due to a "malicious DDoS attack," according to the site's founder, Scott Stedman. The site's report on Broeksmit's allegations of the alleged connections between Russian state-run bank VTB, Deutsche Bank, and Trump, remains accessible via the document storage site Scribd.

Stedman said on his Twitter account that before publishing the article on the alleged Trump-Russia financial connection, Forensic News sent "a detailed list of questions" to Deutsche Bank, but the bank declined to respond.

But after the report was posted online, Deutsche Bank issued a denial.

"More responsible news outlets have either investigated and avoided, or retracted, similar allegations as there is no truth to them," the bank said in a statement, quoted by Stedman on Twitter.

Donald Trump points.
Getty Images | Joe Raedle
Donald Trump reportedly needed Russian help to obtain loans from Deutsche Bank.

Though Forensic News said that it had not independently confirmed that VTB served as underwriter on Trump's Deutsche Bank loans — loans that the bank extended to Trump at a time when his six bankruptcies made him a pariah among lenders — "at least some of Trump's loans were issued by a bank subsidiary with business ties to VTB," according to the report.

Documents provided by Broeksmit and examined by Forensic News show that the Deutsche Bank subsidiary, Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (DBTCA), where his father was employed as chief risk officer, owed about $48.6 million to the Russian bank as of 2013, the site reported.

At the time that Trump became president, he owed approximately $350 million to Deutsche Bank, according to New York Times editor David Enrich, author of the upcoming Deutsche Bank book, Dark Towers: The Inside Story Of The World's Most Destructive Bank. Enrich revealed that figure in a NPR interview.

According to Broeksmit's documents, as reported by Forensic News, Trump actually owed that massive sum to DBTCA, rather than to the "parent" Deutsche Bank.

Trump's connections to Deutsche Bank came under closer scrutiny in 2018, following the sudden and unexpected resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, when it was reported that Kennedy's son had been a Deutsche Bank executive and a trusted associate of Trump during a 12-year period in which the bank loaned Trump about $1 billion for various real estate endeavors.

An "underwriter" assumes some or all of the risk involved in a bank loan, in exchange for a fee. As a result, underwriters form the bedrock of the banking industry, by closely evaluating the creditworthiness of borrowers. If indeed VTB served as underwriter for some of Trump's loans, the Russian bank would have had to pronounce Trump a good lending risk at a time when most other financial institutions saw him as a bad one.