May 23, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Bank CEO charged with trying to bribe Trump administration

Federal Savings Bank CEO Stephen Calk has been charged with bribery for allegedly trying to solicit a position in the Trump administration from former campaign manager Paul Manafort in exchange for $16 million in loans.

"Calk provided the Borrower with a ranked list of the governmental positions he desired, which started with Secretary of the Treasury, and was followed by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Commerce, and Secretary of Defense, as well as 19 ambassadorships similarly ranked and starting with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy."

Why it matters: The Southern District of New York's press release notes that Calk believed he could use Manafort's influence on the Trump transition team — despite Manafort formally leaving the campaign in August 2016 — to obtain a senior administration position. As NBC's Tom Winter notes, the White House has long refused to answer when Manafort actually stopped communicating with members of Trump's orbit.

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