Manafort sought Kushner’s help to get banker position in Trump administration: report

Manafort sought Kushner’s help to get banker position in Trump administration: report
© Anna Moneymaker

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortEric Holder: Trump releasing docs on Russia probe is 'dangerous abuse of power' Time for sunshine on Trump-Russia investigation Legal expert says Manafort deal could help Trump in short term MORE turned to White House aide Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers Five takeaways from Manafort’s plea deal MORE to obtain help in securing a position in the Trump administration for a banker now at the center of Manafort's fraud trial.

Bloomberg News reports that an email exchange occurred in late November 2016, following Trump's election victory, nearly two years before Stephen Calk, chief executive officer of the Federal Savings Bank, would become a central figure in the government's case against Manafort.

In the exchange, Manafort asked Kushner for help in securing the position for Calk and received the response, "On it!" from the White House aide, according to the Bloomberg report.

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The exchange was submitted as evidence on Monday by prosecutors in Manafort's trial. 

Prosecutors are arguing that Manafort is guilty of a slew of financial crimes related to hiding money earned for lobbying efforts on behalf of pro-Russian political parties in Ukraine.

Manafort told Kushner that Calk was a loyal Trump supporter interested in running the U.S. Army or possibly serving as head of the Treasury or Commerce departments.

“Calk was an active supporter of campaign [sic] since April,’’ Manafort wrote to Kushner, according to Bloomberg. “His background is strong in defense issues, management and finance. His preference is Secretary of the Army.’’

Calk wrote a memo to Manafort a week after the election expressing his interest in serving in the administration, which he argued was justified by his vocal support for the president.

“Mr. Calk willingly risked his national professional and personal reputation as an active, vocal, early supporter of President-Elect Trump,” the memo reads, according to Bloomberg.

The Chicago banker is now a witness in the case against Manafort, which entered a new phase Monday as prosecutors rested their case against the former Trump campaign manager.

“We’re fully cooperating with the Special Counsel’s office, and in fairness to both sides we cannot make any comment at this time," Calk told the news service on Sunday.

Manafort, 69, is charged with a number of financial crimes including bank fraud and money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and denies any wrongdoing.