Apr 14, 2018, 9:11 AM ET

Democrats ask for records from Manafort lender who sought Secretary of Army job

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House Democrats want a Chicago-based banker to provide details about a reported loan agreement he signed with embattled former Trump campaign CEO Paul Manafort during the 2016 campaign months before inquiring about a military appointment.

In a letter Thursday to Stephen Calk, head of The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, and Rep. Stephen Lynch, requested documents related to a reported $16 million loan from Calk’s bank to Manafort.

Cummings and Lynch questioned whether Calk issued the reported loan in exchange for Manafort's promise to help get Calk appointed as Secretary of the Army.

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators had made inquiries into the reported $16 million loan from Calk’s bank to Manafort. The Journal’s report says during the Trump transition, “Mr. Calk was placing calls to the Pentagon and specifically to Army headquarters, asking for briefings to obtain information and prepare himself for a possible job.”

PHOTO: A sign hangs above the headquarters of the Federal Savings Bank in the Fulton Market neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2018 in ChicagoScott Olson/Getty Images
A sign hangs above the headquarters of the Federal Savings Bank in the Fulton Market neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2018 in Chicago

"The Federal Savings Bank is aware of recent press reports attributed to unnamed ‘sources’ implying that Paul Manafort obtained loans in exchange for a promise of a position in the Trump Administration. Those reports are simply not true," the bank said in a statement Friday. "The Federal Savings Bank has been fully cooperating with the Special Counsel throughout his investigation and will continue to do so."

The Pentagon confirmed that Calk did, in fact, reach out to the Army administrative personnel office “sometime in November of 2016 regarding the confirmation process in general," according to a letter the Pentagon sent Cummings in response to Democrats' inquiry about Calk's communications with defense officials.

The Pentagon added that the Army’s Chief of Staff “had the opportunity to engage Mr. Calk on November 16, 2016” in a conference in Chicago –- just eight days after President Trump’s election.

“This new information provided by DOD appears to confirm at least part of the underlying allegation, which is that you were actively inquiring with the Pentagon within days of the presidential election about a high-level position that would have required the advice and consent of the Senate,” Cummings and Lynch wrote to Calk in the Thursday letter.

Cummings and Lynch requested all communications between Calk and any member of President Trump’s campaign, the Trump transition team and Pentagon. They also asked for records related to all loans discussed, applied for, reviewed, or granted to Manafort by The Federal Savings Bank.

The members are requesting the aforementioned documents from Calk by April 26.

ABC News’ Ben Siegel contributed to this story.

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  • empirewacksback

    Very interesting ....

  • arlincarlson

    I say hold your horses on this one. My reason are we don't know who promised Calk the job yet. Did Trump himself say so, or was this a recommendation made by Republican circles who were lobbying for some one like Calk, or was it Manafort himself who put Calk's name in play. And it is legitimate to seek what such a job entails, because this man was in private sector with almost no military background.
    Second-who in the right mind is going leave a trail of specific evidence. No one is going say "Give me 16 million,I give you job'.
    Manafort might be stupid enough-but so far we have no phone wiretap and emails that indicate that from Mueller's team.
    Mueller's charges might be dropped. Calk hasn't cracked yet.

  • CantStoptheSignalMal

    Manafort was fired right after the Republican convention - August 2016 I think... this banker was expecting a nomination in November? Months after Manafort was fired? Where exactly did that money go, and has Manafort paid it off?

    Lots of questions needing to be answered regarding this.

  • Jack25

    This is so cool considering the House will be Democrat next year!

  • Dukedaddy

    The part that that get's me is that the people who voted for Trump desperately wanted change in Washington because they were sick and tired of all the crooked career politicians. They thought that Trump would change the way thing are done in Washington and he would "Drain the Swamp" of all the dirty politicians and forever make a positive difference in the way the American government runs.

    Boy oh Boy were they wrong! Trump and his mobster friends have made the current and past political people in Washington look like choir boys!

  • Independent

    aww - Manafort wouldn't sell out this country for a few dollars - oh wait - he already did - sorry

  • twoice

    Manafort scammed this guy, promised him an appointment for S'cty of the Army. His bank makes loans to vets. Average loan is $300k. Manafort, not a vet, got a $16M loan. A full 25% of the loan asset balance sheet. Then, Trump wins, the guy starts hounding folks at the pentagon, wanting to be in on transition briefings. Maddow scooped this a few weeks back.

  • Dukedaddy

    Comie was right when he said Trump operates like a Mafia Boss. Everything Trump does is criminal and he run his company like an organised family.

  • Jack25

    More corruption and filth from Trump associates. He needs to be impeached.

  • MrSoul

    Even if trump never gets directly implicated in all of this...idk how any1 could ignore this collection of crooks that was trumps campaign.

    Yes, I understand there have been some issues w past circles...but lets be real...NOTHING like this

  • LumenPraetorius

    The Democrats have gone completely wonky. They will not give up on these multiple fake corruption stories until they lose the election again in 2020.

    I have been a Democrat for my entire life in the most Democratic part of the United States and believe me, the Dems are just as corrupt as the Republicans.

    Meanwhile the Dems are destroying any confidence we may have left in our country and our system of government.

  • jon rhodes

    At no time in my life time has there ever been as much corruption around the president of the United States. Trump will run out of ink pardoning these creepy crawling creatures.

  • Jim_FTL

    Gawd, does the Trump corruption never stop? And what does Trump do? Suddenly attack Syria to divert attention. I'd rather Trump not play John Wayne of the Middle East and risk the lives of American service members and squander millions of dollars, just to make us look the other way for a few days. While his Admin continues to fleece us and line its own pockets.

    This corruption is unprecedented in US history. Maybe a new Demorcratic Congress will fix this mess, and pass laws to prevent it ever happening again.

  • SarahBeth2

    More tabloid fodder.....at this time the American public is sick of it.

  • Prophet With Honor

    This is a beauty
    "Hello Pentagon? I'm planning to bribe my way into being Secretary of the Army, what paperwork should I get together?"

  • Bryan Thompson

    Oh, I get it now! How silly of me! When Trumph said he was going to drain the swamp, he meant of Political swamp monsters. That way he could refill it with swamp monsters from the Business world! That makes sense ....

  • helico seek

    The slime just keeps oozing outward. Rump and all of his associates contaminate everyone they touch.

  • Peppapeace

    Mueller, keep investigating. Trump is wagging the dog, so stay strong!

  • Jack25

    Just read Mueler has Cohen on his lie about going to Prague. You may remember Cohen said he never visited Prague to meet with Russian diplomat. Now Mueller has proof positive he did. This is how Trump is going down, through Cohen.