Manhattan DA ramps up probe of Trump’s finances and interviews ‘several’ Deutsche Bank employees

The investigation into Mr Trump would not be subject to a presidential pardon if charges are brought 

Graig Graziosi
Friday 11 December 2020 20:59 GMT
George Conway discusses Trump's legal challenges on CNN
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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is digging into Donald Trump's banking partners from the 1990's as part of his ongoing investigation into the president.

According to The New York Times, Mr Vance and his team have questioned "several employees" at Deutsche Bank, which loaned Mr Trump money in the late 1990's when no one else would.

Though it is still unclear whether Mr Vance's office will bring charges against Mr Trump, it does appear his investigation is expanding, not contracting, as the president's term comes to an end.

“Mr. Vance’s office has stepped up its efforts, issuing new subpoenas and questioning witnesses, including some before a grand jury, according to the people with knowledge of the matter, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation,” the Times reported. “The grand jury appears to be serving an investigative function, allowing prosecutors to authenticate documents and pursue other leads, rather than considering any charges.”

In recent months, Mr Vance's office has issued subpoenas and questioned more witnesses, including some in front of a grand jury. The office is still seeking to obtain Mr Trump's personal and private tax filings, a situation that will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

The New York Times reports that the grand jury does not appear to be seeking to file charges, but rather is being used by Mr Vance's office to gain access to documents and pursue separate leads.

Mr Vance's investigation is an especially dangerous one for Mr Trump, as any charges stemming from it would not be federal charges and thus could not be wiped away by a pardon. Mr Trump has long maintained that he has the power to pardon himself, but it would not make a difference in this instance.

The president has written off the investigations as a "witch hunt" and has maintained that he has done nothing wrong.

Mr Vance's investigation is the only known criminal investigation into Mr Trump and focuses on financial crimes the president may have committed in his capacity as a business owner and into potential financial crimes committed by him or family members through the Trump Organisation.

Little is known about the focus of the investigation because it is largely being carried out in front of grand juries, which are secret.

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