New York (CNN)A former Chicago bank executive is on trial in Manhattan for allegedly taking a bribe from onetime Donald Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, hoping to trade loans for a high-ranking position in the presidential administration.
Stephen Calk, the former chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank first indicted in 2019, is on trial for charges of financial institution bribery and conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery.
Calk allegedly awarded Manafort $16 million in corrupt loans using The Federal Savings Bank as his “personal piggy bank,” federal prosecutor Alexandra Rothman alleged in her opening statement Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege Calk used his position at the bank to push through risky loans for Manafort in 2016 and 2017 while conspiring with Manafort to get him a high-ranking spot in the administration.
Days after Calk’s bank approved the first loan, Manafort appointed Calk to the Economic Advisory Council for Trump’s campaign, an unpaid role that put Calk in the spotlight giving media interviews as a surrogate for the campaign.
Prosecutors pointed to text messages Calk sent to Manafort on election night in 2016 informing him that his bank could issue a second loan despite what they say were “red flags” in Manafort’s financial position.
Calk then had an interview Manafort secured for him at Trump Tower in New York for a position as under secretary of the Army.
Former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci is anticipated to testify Thursday that Manafort asked him to get Calk an interview for the position and that he complied with the request despite believing that Calk was not qualified, prosecutors say.
Calk was ultimately never offered nor accepted any positions within the administration and the bank incurred a multimillion-dollar loss when Manafort defaulted on the loans, according to the indictment.
Defense counsel argued Wednesday that Calk didn’t know h
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