Ed Caesar writes: March 10th, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the ranking Democratic member on the House Committee on Financial Services, wrote a letter with four other Democrats to Congressman Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of that committee, the contents of which would have been considered extraordinary in a less chaotic and febrile political atmosphere. The letter began:
Consistent with your past practice of monitoring the Department of Justice’s (“the Department”) investigations, we write to request that the Committee conduct a formal assessment of the Department’s investigation into Deutsche Bank’s Russian money-laundering scheme, including a review of the new Attorney General’s role in continuing the investigation. We also urge the Committee to initiate its own investigation, using the full range of the Committee’s oversight authorities, to determine the nature of the Russian money-laundering scheme, including who participated in the arrangement and whether violations of U.S. Law, beyond the failure to maintain appropriate anti-money laundering controls, may have occurred.
The letter then outlined the anxieties shared by Congresswoman Waters and her Democratic colleagues on the committee. They included a concern “about the integrity of this criminal probe . . . given the President’s ongoing conflicts of interest with Deutsche Bank”—Trump businesses owe hundreds of millions of dollars to Deutsche Bank—and that “suspicious ties between President Trump’s inner circle and the Russian government . . . raise concerns that the Department may fail to implicate those who benefited from Deutsche Bank’s trading scheme.” [Continue reading…]