One of Deutsche Bank's most famous customers has been President Donald Trump, and Deutsche's activities —including its dealings with Trump — have been the subject of investigations by prosecutors as well as members of Congress. The German bank, Bloomberg News is reporting, has hired attorney Robert Kimmitt — whose relationship with Attorney General William Barr goes back to the late 1980s — to represent it in Washington, D.C.
The 72-year-old Kimmitt is a former U.S. ambassador to Germany. According to Bloomberg, Kimmitt's "precise role" in Deutsche "isn't clear even to many executives within the bank."
Bloomberg journalists Greg Farrell, Steven Arons, Christian Berthelsen and Tom Schoenberg explain, "When Kimmitt was hired, many top executives in the U.S. weren't immediately informed of his role, according to other people familiar with the matter. Lawyers representing the bank in U.S. Justice Department investigations have been dealing directly with line prosecutors in several long-running investigations. In at least one of those investigations, the Department has relayed almost no information in years, these people said."
The reporters note that according to Bloomberg's sources, some of Deutsche's senior executives in Frankfurt, Germany are hoping that Kimmitt's relationship with Barr "could help clear up a logjam of Justice Department investigations." Kimmit, Bloomberg notes, "has close connections to both Deutsche Bank and the Justice Department."
Kimmitt's relationship with Barr goes back to the presidential election of 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush received the Republican nomination and went up against the Democratic presidential nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. That year, Bloomberg explains, Kimmitt and Barr "were responsible for vetting potential running mates for the vice president."
After evaluating various possibilities, the GOP chose Dan Quayle as Bush's running mate. Bush defeated Dukakis in the general election, and Barr served as Bush's attorney general in the early 1990s before becoming attorney general for the Trump Administration in 2019.