Democrats Seek Subpoena of Chicago Bank Over Manafort Loans

(Bloomberg) -- Two Democratic lawmakers are pushing for the House Oversight Committee to issue a subpoena to force the Federal Savings Bank in Chicago to turn over documents related to its loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The lawmakers, Representatives Elijah Cummings and Stephen Lynch, said the bank responded to an April 12 request for documents with a one-page letter maintaining that “news speculation is false.” The bank provided a single document -- a copy from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s superseding indictment of Manafort that it argued proved the bank was a victim of Manafort’s alleged fraudulent conduct, the lawmakers said.

Manafort is accused by Mueller of money laundering, bank and tax fraud, and failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine. He has denied any wrongdoing, and a call to his spokesman wasn’t immediately returned.

The lawmakers’ inquiry was prompted by news articles that suggested the bank provided as much as $16 million in loans to Manafort as part of a quid pro quo to give a presidential appointment to Stephen Calk, the bank’s founder and chief executive officer. Calk sought to be the Army secretary, the Wall Street Journal reported in February.

The lawmakers sent their request to Representative Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Gowdy and Calk didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Records provided by the Defense Department show that Calk called the Army in November 2016, the month Trump was elected, asking for information about the confirmation process, the lawmakers said.

“The information DoD provided appears to have confirmed at least part of the underlying allegation, which is that Mr. Calk was actively inquiring with the Pentagon within days of the presidential election that would have required the advice and consent of the Senate,” Cummings and Lynch wrote in their letter to Gowdy.

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