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Manafort’s Chicago bankers may testify against him; two granted immunity

Stephen M. Calk, founder and chairman of The Federal Savings Bank, made the maximum contribution to Donald Trump's presidential campaign around the time his bank gave $16 million in loans to ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Stephen M. Calk, founder and chairman of The Federal Savings Bank | Provided photo

WASHINGTON — Two potential witnesses who may testify against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, are connected to a Chicago bank giving millions in loans to Manafort.

Last year, a variety of news outlets reported that loans made by the bank led by Stephen Calk, the president of the Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, were being probed by investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Calk’s bank granted $16 million in loans to Manafort.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, sitting in Alexandria, Va., hearing one of the cases against Manafort, granted immunity to five potential witnesses, including James Brennan and Dennis Raico, news outlets reported.

Brennan’s LinkedIn profile said he has been an officer at The Federal Savings Bank. On Zoominfo, Raico is listed as a senior vice president at the bank.

The Federal Savings Bank website lists offices for the  bank at 300 N. Elizabeth in Chicago and in Lake Forest.

An issue is whether Calk made the loans to Manafort as part of his effort to win a post in the Trump administration. MSNBC reported that Calk was aiming at an appointment  as Secretary of the Army.

Calk’s bio on the bank website said, “In the 2016/2017 election Mr. Calk served as a Senior Economic Advisor to the President Elect of the United States.”

Calk’s bio also states that he served in the Army “in both active and reserve status” for over 16 years.

Bloomberg News reported that Mueller’s office exhibit list includes “emails regarding a Manafort loan between a J. Brennan, D. Raico and others whose family names were the same as those of employees at the Federal Savings Bank.”