Federal investigators are probing whether former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort promised a Chicago banker a job in the Trump White House in return for $16 million in home loans, two people with direct knowledge of the matter told NBC News.
Manafort received three separate loans in December 2016 and January 2017 from Federal Savings Bank for homes in New York City and the Hamptons. Stephen Calk, who was announced as a member of candidate Trump's council of economic advisers in August 2016, is the president of Federal Savings Bank.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is now investigating whether there was a quid pro quo agreement between Manafort and Calk. Manafort left the Trump campaign in August 2016 after the millions he had earned working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine drew media scrutiny. Calk did not receive a job in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.
Federal prosecutors said in court filings they have "substantial evidence" that loans made from the bank to Manafort were secured through false representations made by Manafort, including misstatements of income. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and a Calk spokesperson did not return multiple calls and e-mails over a period of several weeks requesting a response.