Scaramucci takes stand at trial of Manafort banker

“He suggested and recommended Mr. Calk and wanted us to interview him … The original position was Army Secretary,” said Scaramucci, founder of SkyBridge Capital. He said Manafort referred to Calk as “a friend of his” who “worked on the campaign and was an early supporter of the president-elect”.

However, when questioned by a federal attorney, Scaramucci said he was completely unaware that Manafort recently received a $ 9.5 million loan from Calks Federal Savings Bank and was looking for millions more.

Deputy US Attorney Alexandra Rothman led Scaramucci through his contacts with Manafort and once asked about a phone call in December 2016 with the former Trump election chief.

“Did Mr. Manafort tell you on that phone call with Mr. Manafort that he had received millions in loans from Steve Calks Bank?” She asked.

“No,” replied Scaramucci, giving the same answer when asked if Manafort was seeking more credit from the potential candidate.

“If he had said any of these things to you, would you have passed on Mr. Kalk’s name?” Asked Rothmann.

“No,” said Scaramucci.

Calk eventually got an interview at Trump Tower for the Army Secretary, but Scaramucci said the Army Undersecretary was also discussed because a New York billionaire and West Point graduate, Vincent Viola, had the inside track for the secretary job.

“The original request was for the Secretary of the Army. Then I told Mr Manafort that we already had someone in line, Vincent Viola, whom I recommended to the President, ”said Scaramucci.

“Would he take Under Secretary of State for the Army? Are we doubly sure? If so, I think we can do it, ”wrote Scaramucci on December 21, 2016 to Manafort.

“Yes. He will definitely take it,” Manafort wrote back.

When Scaramucci told about his dealings with Calk, Rothman asked again if Calk had mentioned that he had arranged Manafort million dollar loans. “No,” replied Scaramucci.

Kalk’s initial desires were extremely ambitious. In an email to Manafort days after the election, Calk said he could be a candidate for finance, trade or defense ministerial. He also offered a ranking of 19 potential ambassadors, starting with the UK, France and Germany.

Calk later lowered his gaze from a cabinet position, but Scaramucci said he was trying to convey to the banker that many longtime GOP officials, Trump friends and others were vying for the top spots. “I have tried to be realistic with Mr. Calk about the potential of the jobs he was looking for,” said Scaramucci.

Scaramucci said he never predicted Manafort that Calk would line up for a top job, but thought an interview was feasible.

Manafort also emailed Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor, to seek a job for Calk. “Thereon!” Kuschner answered.

Kushner was only mentioned briefly at the trial on Thursday when Rothman asked Scaramucci about Kushner’s position in the transition period.

“He was probably in the first two or three people … I would say he had a very momentous role,” said Scaramucci, who fell out with Trump after his discharge from the White House and opposed Trump in the 2020 election.

Calk never managed to get a job in the army or any other administrative job, despite previously being given a spot on the Trump campaign’s economic advisory board.

Calk’s defense has taken up the fact that he never got a government position, but prosecutors insist that Calk and Manafort made a “corrupt deal” in an illegal bribe of Calk in his position as chairman and CEO of a state-insured bank equaled.

Calk faces two crime charges: bribery in exchange for bank loans and conspiracy to commit the same crime. He faces a maximum potential of 35 years in prison, though if convicted he would likely get considerably less under federal condemnation guidelines.

Kalk’s trial opened on Tuesday with the selection of the jury, followed by opening statements and the first testimony on Wednesday. Scaramucci is expected to return to the stand when the trial resumes next Tuesday. After prosecutors complete their interrogation, Kalk’s defense will cross-examine Scaramucci.

Early Thursday, the jury heard from Kory Langhofer, an attorney on the Trump transition team. Langhofer was primarily on hand to certify the accuracy of emails, but defense attorney Paul Schoeman also led him through a discussion of a dispute that broke out between Trump’s aides and the General Services Administration after the GSA was part of Trump -Russia investigation.

Another prosecution witness was Anna Ivakhnik, who said she had become deeply in doubt about a loan to Manafort and his son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai that was discussed while working as a credit assistant at Calks Bank in 2016.

“I didn’t think the borrowers had the ability or will to repay the loan,” Ivakhnik said. “I thought the bank would have to do a foreclosure at some point … It became very obvious that this was a bad loan.”

Manafort suspended payments on the loans after being charged in August 2017 with acting as an unregistered foreign agent and money laundering, among other things. The Federal Saving Bank eventually foreclosed Manafort’s Brooklyn and Long Island properties. Manafort was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison but served about two years before being released from home. Trump pardoned him in December.

It is unclear whether the bank will ultimately cover its losses from the Manafort loans, but prosecutors insist that this is not relevant to the criminal case against Calk.

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