Two congressional Democrats are investigating whether a Chicago banker was offered a job in the Trump administration in exchange for lending $16 million to the president’s former campaign manager.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., sent a letter to the Defense Department on Tuesday to ask about its contacts with Stephen Calk, the CEO of the $364-million asset Federal Savings Bank.

Calk was seeking to be named Army secretary around the same time that his bank made the loans to former Trump campaign aide Paul Manafort, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing three anonymous sources.

Steve Calk
According to news reports, Calk was seeking to a job in the Trump administration around the same time that his bank made loans to Paul Manafort.

Calk is a former Army helicopter pilot whose bank specializes in loans to military veterans. A spokeswoman for Federal Savings has denied that there was a quid pro quo.

Manafort faces more than two dozen criminal charges as part of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He has denied wrongdoing.

In charges filed last week, special prosecutor Robert Mueller alleged that Manafort made numerous false representations as he sought to secure mortgages totaling $16 million between July 2016 and January 2017.

The indictment did not identify the lender by name, but its description of the mortgages matches publicly available information about loans that Federal Savings Bank made to Manafort.

The two Democratic congressmen are asking the Defense Department to hand over all documents in its possession that relate to Calk, including any that refer to a potential job. Calk did not ultimately receive a job in the Trump administration.

Still, the two House Democrats contend that recent media reports regarding Calk and Manafort raise serious concerns that merit congressional scrutiny.

Mueller’s office is reportedly also investigating whether Calk made the loans to Manafort in exchange for a job in the Trump administration.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.
Kevin Wack

Kevin Wack

Kevin Wack is a California-based reporter for American Banker who covers the U.S. consumer finance industry.