- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Paul Manafort tried to use his connections to the Trump campaign to reward a banker who’d extended him a major loan, former Manafort business partner Rick Gates testified in court Tuesday.

Mr. Manafort, a former chairman of the campaign who stands accused of bank and tax fraud for overseas business dealings, sought to get his banker on an economic advisory council to the campaign in September 2016, then after the election tried to get him in the mix for nomination to be Army secretary, Mr. Gates testified.

In both instances, Mr. Manafort approached Mr. Gates for help. Mr. Gates had followed Mr. Manafort into the Trump campaign and remained behind, working for the campaign and later the presidential transition team, even after Mr. Manafort departed the operation.

The man Mr. Manafort was seeking to boost was Steven Calk, executive at Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, who’d loaned Mr. Manafort $9.5 million for a mortgage, Mr. Gates testified.

Mr. Calk did, in fact, get the position on the Trump campaign economic advisory panel — though it was not clear whether that was because of Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort. He did not, however, get the Army post.

Mr. Manafort’s finances have been under scrutiny during the trial in Alexandria, where the special counsel probing Russian meddling in the 2016 election has indicted the former campaign chairman.

According to testimony, Mr. Manafort was struggling with cash when he took the Trump campaign job.

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