Two weeks after Federal Savings Bank extended a $9.5 million loan to Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman emailed Jared Kushner recommending that the bank’s CEO serve as Army secretary in the Trump administration.
The November 30, 2016 message was one of several emails related to the loan released by special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday night, as part of his trial against the former campaign chairman, who prosecutors allege defrauded Federal Savings Bank and other banks. Those emails, and other evidence prosecutors have introduced, suggest that Federal Saving Bank CEO Steve Calk had expressed a desire to serve in the Trump administration as he was deeply involved in negotiating Manafort’s loans.
Calk emailed Manafort on November 15, 2016 — the day before the $9.5 million loan closed — a memo “prepared” at Manafort’s “request” pitching his qualifications to serve as Trump’s Army Secretary.
“My goal is to ensure you or my designated prosper has all the information they need to have me successfully chosen by the President-Elect,” Calk said.
The email also included a ranking of the other “Perspective Rolls” in the administration.
Prosecutors accuse Manafort and Calk of engaging in a quid pro quo with the loan and the promise of a Cabinet post. Calk was also named to a Trump campaign advisory committee days after he approved an initial loan proposal for Manafort over the summer, according to a bank employee’s testimony.
Other evidence introduced by the prosecutors indicate that Manafort gave false information to the banks in the process of applying for the loans, which totaled $16 million. In one email, Manafort cops to misstating an existing mortgage one of his homes by $1 million — a mistake he blamed on a “blackout” in a October 7 email to Calk.
“I look to your cleverness on how to manage the underwriting. I recognize it was my mistake at our lunch, but the situation is as described,” Manafort wrote. Calk replied with some ideas for adjusting the terms of the loan.
The next day Manafort emailed Calk seeking to set up a time to get in touch.
“I also want to again thank you for fixing my issue. It means a lot to me. You are becoming a very good friend and I look forward to building our relationship into both a deeper business and personal one,” Manafort said.
Later that month, Manafort would walk away from the terms of that loan proposal, but would negotiate another version of the loan ultimately extending him the $9.5 million in November. In January 2017, he closed a second loan, for $6.5 million, from the bank.
Read the emails below: