Banker Stephen Calk Charged With Bribing Manafort for Trump Cabinet Position
While it began as a search into obstruction of justice, the Mueller investigation has proven to have long tentacles. The inquiry has snared Trump administration figures such as George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates and Paul Manafort.
While the investigation has come to an end, there is still fall-out for figures who committed crimes during the campaign. On Thursday morning, federal prosecutors charged banker Stephen Calk with bribing Trump officials in hopes of obtaining a cabinet post.
The Chicago banker allegedly offered then Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort $16 million in loans for a job in the administration. While Calk did not receive a position in the White House, the loans to Manfort did not go unnoticed.
FBI prosecutor, Greg Andres, explains, “So there was agreement between Mr. Manafort and Mr. Calk to have the loans approved, they were approved, and in turn, Mr. Manafort proposed Mr. Calk for certain positions within the administration.”
Bloomberg reports that while loans to Manafort were red-flagged by the bank, Calk moved to expedite them anyway. The loans,”didn’t go through the normal process because Mr. Calk was expediting the loan and pushing it through, notwithstanding the red flags.” said Andres.
When Paul Manafort began working for Donald Trump, he was in severe debt to multiple Russian business people. According to a New York Times report, he had hoped to use his viability working for Trump to help pay back his loans. The alleged arrangement with Calk would fit the pattern of a person desperate to pay off large debts.