Donald Trump could use the power of the U.S. government to quietly help out a bank he owes millions to that is currently under investigation.
Trump owes Deutsche Bank $365 millions for loans it gave him to develop the old post office building in Washington D.C. (now Trump International Hotel) as well as a hotel in Chicago and a golf course in Florida.
At the same time, Deutsche Bank was fined $14 billion by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its role in creating and selling mortgage backed securities that helped lead to the global financial collapse in 2008.
Deutsche Bank is negotiating the details of that fine with the DOJ, but come January, Trump will be in charge of the Department – while still in debt to the bank.
Simon Johnson, a professor at MIT’s Sloane School of Management, tells NPR, “Does it look bad? Does it look like exactly someone might cut Deutsche Bank a deal because they want their boss’s boss to be happier? Yeah, absolutely, of course. And that’s why we try to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
Trump has steadfastly refused to make the moves necessary to avoid corruption and the appearance of conflicts of interest in his incoming administration. Instead, he has made public relations statements while doing things like keeping his children in charge of his business while also being deeply involved in his political maneuvers.