- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are pushing to subpoena the Pentagon for documents related to allegations that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort promised a White House job to a Chicago banker in exchange for $16 million in home loans.

The committee’s top Democrats, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland, and Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, Massachusetts, called on the committee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, to subpoena the Department of Defense for records related to the matter that Mr. Cummings said have been withheld from Congress.

In a letter dated March 28, the Democrats explain the committee requested the records from the Pentagon one month ago, but have not yet received them, or a briefing which they also requested.

“To date, [the Defense Department] has not produced any of the requested documents or information and has not provided a timeline for when it intends to produce the documents we requested,” Mr. Cummings and Mr. Lynch wrote to Mr. Gowdy.

According to multiple media reports, special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Mr. Manafort promised banker Stephen Calk, who heads Federal Savings Bank, that he would be nominated secretary of the Army in exchange for millions in loans.

“We are writing to respectfully request that you issue a subpoena to compel the Department of Defense to produce documents it has been withholding from Congress relating to extremely troubling reports that a banker named Stephen Calk may have made loans of up to $16 million to President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in exchange for promises to name him Secretary of the Army,” the lawmakers wrote.

They added that if Mr. Gowdy decides not to issue a subpoena, “then we ask that you place this matter on the agenda for our next regularly scheduled business meeting so all committee members will have the opportunity to vote on a motion for this subpoena.”

In the Mueller Russian-meddling probe, Mr. Manafort, 68, has already pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and tax and bank fraud charges related to his lobbying work for a Russian-friendly political party in Ukraine and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

On Wednesday, the FBI found that a business associate of Mr. Manafort had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, including during the 2016 campaign when Mr. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were in touch with the associate, according to new court filings.

Prosecutors made the allegation without naming the Manafort associate, but described his role with Mr. Manafort in detail. The description matches the Russian manager of Mr. Manafort’s lobbying office in Kiev, Konstantin Kilimnik.

The new filings on the relationship between Mr. Gates and Mr. Kilimnik comes as Mr. Mueller’s office prepares for the sentencing of Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan, a former associate at the U.S. law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Mr. Van der Zwaan has already pleaded guilty to charges he lied to U.S. authorities about contacts he had with Mr. Gates and a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.


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