The problem with Jay Clayton: Trump’s new SDNY attorney nominee’s link to Deutsche Bank’s $10 billion problem
The chairman of the SEC is set to replace Attorney Geoffrey Berman and lead the same SDNY which is investigating the German bank he allegedly defended
June 19, 2020
The Trump administration has come up with a ‘musical chair’ plan in the legal sphere by intending to replace the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Attorney Geoffrey Berman even though the latter has refused to quit. On Friday, June 19, Attorney General William Barr came up with a surprising announcement that Trump intended to nominate Jay Clayton to replace Berman and praised Clayton as a “worthy successor”.
Clayton, 53, is currently the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where he has been serving since May 2017. “For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize the regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Barr said in his statement, adding: “His management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an ideal background to lead the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”
‘Clayton defended Deutsche Bank in Russian money-laundering scam’
Investigative journalist and founder of Forensic News Scott Stedman gave Clayton’s background details in a tweet, saying Clayton counted Deutsche Bank as a client and defended them in a massive Russian money-laundering scandal. “There is a criminal investigation into Deutsche Bank occurring in SDNY,” Stedman said, adding: “Deutsche Bank is Trump’s lender.”
The justice department’s money-laundering division along with the SDNY attorney’s office, has been investigating the German bank over charges that it missed red flags, which allowed Russians to take billions of dollars out of Moscow using a trading scheme.
In November 2017, a report in CNN said, citing sources having knowledge about the probe, that the justice department’s investigation into Deutsche Bank’s role in the $10 billion Russian money-laundering scheme went quiet months after the bank settled with regulators.
The lender has also reportedly loaned billions to Trump’s company and to firms that are controlled by the family of his son-in-law and presidential adviser Jared Kushner.
Last month, a federal judge in New York rejected President Trump’s request to keep his banks from showing financial records to lawmakers.
Clayton’s departure from SEC sees mixed reactions in the crypto-currency industry
The nomination of Clayton, who has never been a prosecutor earlier, as the SDNY attorney saw mixed reactions in the crypto-currency industry. On one hand, the industry thought leaders were left wondering ‘what after’ Clayton left the SEC post. Jake Chervinsky, a general counsel at Compound and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, posted his thought on Twitter saying: ‘The SEC chair is one of the most important U.S. officials for crypto regulation. Chairman Clayton’s replacement will have a massive impact on the industry…clarity on a wide range of issues for years to come hangs in the balance.”
Michael Arrington, the Founder of TechCrunch, CrunchBase and Arrington XRP Capital, was ecstatic to see Clayton’s back. He tweeted: “Whatever else, Jay Clayton leaving the SEC is a win for crypto and sound money fans across the world. Hopefully he does less damage as a US atty.”
Clayton was known to have a not-so-good relation with the crypto and blockchain industry.