Report: Manhattan DA Schedules Interviews With Manafort Associates

Paul Manafort walks from Federal District Court in Washington, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, and Manafort's business associate Rick Gates pleaded not guilty to felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP
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The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is reportedly scheduling interviews with as many as 20 business associates and lenders of indicted Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, including a fellow adviser on the Trump team.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Stephen Calk, who served on the Trump campaign’s economic advisory council, is one of the individuals whose ties to Manafort are being scrutinized by Manhattan prosecutors. Calk’s Chicago-based Federal Savings Bank lent millions of dollars to properties owned by Manafort, whom special counsel Robert Mueller indicted on financial crimes charges in late October.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to those charges, but his legal troubles are far-reaching. Since this spring, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has been looking into possible tax evasion and the falsification of business records relating to his web of real estate transactions, according to Bloomberg. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is conducting a separate probe into potential money laundering by the GOP operative.

Notably, individuals found guilty of state crimes, unlike those convicted of charges brought by federal prosecutors, can’t be pardoned by the President.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported that both state investigations were sharing information with Mueller’s probe.

Spokespeople for the bank, Manafort, Vance’s office and Schneiderman’s office declined Bloomberg’s requests for comment.

President Donald Trump has shown no particular sympathy for Manafort’s plight thus far. After news broke that Manafort was indicted for a money laundering conspiracy and for violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Trump said that the charges predated Manafort’s involvement with the campaign, and the President tried to redirect attention to “Crooked Hillary & the Dems.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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