Republicans Slam Clinton for Deutsche Speeches as Firm Slumps

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A road cleaning machine drives past the exterior of a Deutsche Bank AG bank branch in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The Republican National Committee reignited calls for Hillary Clinton to release details surrounding her paid private speeches to Deutsche Bank on Thursday just as the firm's New York-listed shares fell to a record low

Officials from the German-bank, which U.S. regulators slapped with a massive $14 billion fine earlier this month, paid the Clintons $955,000 between 2012 and 2014 for a total of four speeches, according to financial disclosure records.

Hillary Clinton was paid $225,000 for an April 24, 2013 speech and $260,000 for an Oct. 7, 2014 speech. Her husband was paid $200,000 for an Oct. 10, 2012 speech and $270,000 for a speech he gave on Aug. 27, 2014.

“For a foreign bank under federal investigation to give the Clintons millions is unseemly and raises serious questions about conflicts and Hillary Clinton’s true commitment to holding Wall Street accountable," said Republican National Committee spokesman Raj Shah. "Then again this is par for the course with the Clintons who point the finger with one hand while padding their bank accounts with the other.”

The RNC works closely with Donald Trump's presidential campaign in seeking to elect him and down-ballot Republicans, but it was not clear if Thursday's attack was a coordinated effort.

Tying Clinton to bank troubles could help Trump maintain an important advantage in the campaign. Surveys show that voters prefer him to handle the U.S. economy. Even millennials, among the most skeptical groups for Trump, trusted him to better handle Wall Street regulation in a recent Gallup poll.

Republicans have criticized the Clintons for earning more than $153 million in paid speeches since they've left the White House, including some criticism from amongst Democrats during her primary.

They have pressed her to release the transcripts, particularly for her husband's speeches during and after her tenure leading the U.S  State Department, a post she left in February 2013.

Similarly, the Clinton campaign has attacked Trump to release his tax returns, in keeping with a longstanding tradition of presidential candidates. Trump has said he will release his returns following the conclusion of an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, though there is no stipulation preventing him from releasing the records now.

Department of Justice officials began investigating and fining large financial institutions following the 2008 economic collapse for their involvement in selling faulty mortgage-backed securities.

DOJ officials asked Deutsche Bank to pay a $14 billion fine on Sept. 16, after having already paid $9 billion in fines for their role in the financial collapse. The bank is fighting against having to pay the fine.

During campaign rallies, Trump slams the Clintons' paid speeches to banks, but has not made a habit of calling out Deutsche Bank in particular.

"She and Bill were paid $150 million for speeches since Bill left the Oval Office," Trump said in Beford, N.H., on Thursday at a rally. "The same groups paying Bill and Hillary for their speeches were lobbying the federal government."

Donald Trump's biggest lender is Deutsche Bank. He owes about $300 million to the bank, nearly half of his outstanding debt, according to a July analysis by Bloomberg. That figure swelled last year when Trump took out an additional $170 million loan to finish a hotel project in Washington. He also has two mortgages against his Doral resort in Miami and a loan against his tower in Chicago. All four debts mature in 2023 and 2024. 

Trump's dealings with Deutsche Bank's operations stretch back decades to his attempt to build an Atlantic City casino empire, a badly timed push that forced him to renegotiate with creditors. His major backers in that era included Bankers Trust, which Deutsche Bank acquired in 1999 as part of a Wall Street expansion. Bankers Trust was among lenders that agreed in the early 1990s to give him better terms on his debt in exchange for part of his holdings.

Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank also endured a set of 2008 lawsuits in which he sued the firm for refusing to extend the term of a $640 million loan against his newly constructed Chicago tower. He argued that the financial crisis had triggered a ``force majeure'' clause, which would allow for a payback extension in extraordinary circumstances. Deutsche Bank counter sued, claiming Trump had failed to pay a $40 million personal guarantee on the debt. The developer and bank later settled.

 

 

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