Bank CEO sent millions to Manafort for Trump admin spot: Prosecutors

NEW YORK — A Chicago financial institution proprietor traded $16 million in loans to ex-President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign supervisor in a bid for a prestigious place in Trump’s administration, a prosecutor advised jurors in a gap assertion Wednesday earlier than a protection lawyer assured them that the banker dedicated no crimes.

“This is a case about greed, but not greed for money. Greed for power, for prestige, for importance,” Assistant US Attorney Alexandra Rothman stated shortly earlier than stating Stephen Calk to a Manhattan jury and describing his dealings with Paul Manafort, who led Trump’s presidential marketing campaign for a number of months 5 years in the past.

She recalled election evening 2016, saying that Calk, the previous chief govt of The Federal Savings Bank, messaged Manafort after it turned clear Trump had received the election to promise {that a} $9.5 million real estate building mortgage that had appeared stalled, if not lifeless, can be “wrapped up the next day.”

Within weeks, Calk was interviewing at Trump Tower for a place within the administration and was eagerly pushing by one other $6.5 million to Manafort so he might end building on a Brooklyn condominium and keep away from foreclosures, Rothman stated.

Manafort, the prosecutor stated, was seen by Calk as “his personal piggybank to try to buy himself prestige and power.”

Still, Rothman stated, Calk by no means was granted any Trump administration place he placed on his want record, together with head of the Treasury, Commerce or Defense Departments. And he additionally didn’t get what he claimed was his “No. 1 desire,” to be Secretary of the Army, she added.

Stephen Calk is accused of bribing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in an effort to gain a position in the Trump administration.
Stephen Calk is accused of sending loans to former Trump marketing campaign supervisor Paul Manafort in an effort to acquire a place within the Trump administration.
Steven Hirsch

He did acquire media publicity, although, from his voluntary position on the Trump marketing campaign’s Economic Advisory Council, the place he served with different high-profile enterprise leaders advising Trump, she stated.

Manafort was ousted in 2016 from Trump’s marketing campaign over his ties to Ukraine. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation led to his criminal conviction and a sentence of over seven years in jail for financial crimes associated to his political consulting work in Ukraine. In December, Trump pardoned him.

Paul Schoeman, Calk’s lawyer, urged jurors to query all through the trial whether or not his consumer thought something he was doing was unsuitable.

“The answer is going to be no,” he stated.

Schoeman stated the Manafort loans have been unanimously accredited by the financial institution’s mortgage committee and by underwriters on phrases that gave Manafort no break on rates of interest or charges and required extra collateral than the loans have been price.

The protection lawyer stated Calk consulted with Manafort about how to get a place with the administration, simply as he had completed with varied navy generals and different outstanding people he thought may need good recommendation.

He stated Calk “didn’t think he was doing anything corrupt because he thought he was getting great loans for his bank.”

At the time, Manafort appeared rich and profitable and “a rock star in the world of politics” who had suggested former presidents way back to Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, Schoeman stated.

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to prison for tax fraud and collaborating with Ukraine.
Former Trump marketing campaign supervisor Paul Manafort was sentenced to jail for tax fraud and collaborating with Ukraine.
Gregory P. Mango

The lawyer stated Calk didn’t know that Manafort was giving the financial institution false monetary statements and “was not nearly as wealthy or successful as he pretended to be.”

Schoeman stated Calk was “excited” when Trump received the presidency and would have been “thrilled and honored” to safe a job that might let him help the troops as a result of he had lengthy operated his financial institution in a fashion that helped veterans after his honorary discharge as a captain with the Army Reserve.

The lawyer additionally warned jurors that the case was not about “partisan politics.”

“The name Donald Trump is going to come up during this trial. Some people like him. Some people don’t. But don’t let it influence you in this case,” he stated. “Mr. Calk did not commit a crime. He did not make a corrupt deal. He is not guilty of these charges.”

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