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Bridging The Gap
Paul Manafort trial: Bank fast-tracked loan as Trump chairman discussed cabinet posts for CEO
  Friday 10 August, 2018
Paul Manafort trial: Bank fast-tracked loan as Trump chairman discussed cabinet posts for CEO

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The chief executive of a Chicago bank “expedited” approval of $16 million in loans for Paul Manafort after the former Trump campaign chief discussed a possible role for the executive in the campaign and ultimately in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Dennis Raico, a former senior vice president at Federal Savings Bank, said he had never seen CEO Steve Calk become involved in such loan negotiations, adding that Calk’s contacts with Manafort “made me very uncomfortable.”

Within days after the first of two loans closed – following Trump’s November 2016 election – Raico told a federal court jury that his boss asked him to call Manafort to learn whether Calk was still under consideration for cabinet positions to lead the departments of Treasury or Housing and Urban Development.

Raico, who was testifying Friday under a grant of immunity from prosecution, said that Manafort’s loans were approved even as questions were raised about his financial condition.

Referring Manafort’s tax returns and financial statements that were submitted as part of his loan applications, Raico said: “A plus B didn’t always equal C.”

More questions swirled around an American Express card debt of more than $210,000 for New York Yankees season tickets.

Raico said that Manafort had explained that an associate had borrowed his credit card to make the purchase and would settle the debt.

That associate, business partner Rick Gates, testified earlier that Manafort had asked him to write a letter affirming the fabricated story even though Manafort had made the purchase.

The potentially damning testimony came as prosecutors are seeking to wrap up their tax and bank fraud case against Trump’s former top campaign aide.

That case was delayed Friday morning when the judge put the trial on hold, offering an unusually emphatic instruction to the jurors that they should not discuss the case with others or among themselves until all the evidence was in.

Ellis also reminded the panel that Manafort, who was seated at the defense table, is presumed innocent of the 18 criminal counts lodged against him.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/08/10/paul-manafort-trial-judge-jury-friday-update/956821002/

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