A new email reveals that Paul Manafort was in contact with President Donald Trump‘s son-in-law Jared Kushner about Federal Savings Bank CEO Stephen Calk.
Calk has come to be known as the bank executive who approved a multi-mullion dollar loan for Manafort and ended up with a position on an economic advisory council for the Trump campaign, raising questions by the government as to whether pay-to-play was afoot. It became clear that Calk was not just interested in the economic advisor role. He also had his eye on Secretary of the Army.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has tweeted out a copy of an email chain from November 30, 2016 (at this point Trump was president-elect). It shows Manafort, who left the Trump campaign in August of that year, forwarded resumes of three people to be a part of the Trump Administration. This was sent to Jared Kushner.
In the email, Manafort describes Calk as “an active supporter of [the] campaign since April” and pointed to his 40 television interviews in support of the Trump agenda.
Manafort said it was Calk’s “preference” for Secretary of the Army.
Here’s the Jared Kushner email to Manafort saying “On it!” in response to Manafort recommending for Army Secretary a bank exec who just approved $16m in loans to him. It’s exhibit #502. pic.twitter.com/3P3DNbLvV7
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) August 14, 2018
Kushner replied simply with, “On it!”
Calk has been a polarizing figure at the Manafort trial. On the one hand, the government has argued that Calk’s approval of a $9.5 million loan defrauded the bank. On the other hand, Manafort’s defense and Judge T.S. Ellis III agreed that an argument could be made that Calk’s statements were not “material.” The reason being that Calk knew Manafort’s “representations were false” and he approved the loan anyway because of political ambitions as described above.
The judge said the defense made a compelling argument that the testimony should not be allowed into evidence, but nonetheless denied their motion to acquit Manafort on Tuesday.
The first major mention of Stephen Calk came when he was discussed in the same breath as the Trump campaign. It was the first time the Trump campaign had been referenced more specifically than “a presidential campaign.”