Federal Savings denies quid pro quo with Manafort

Posted February 23, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a 32-count indictment Thursday hitting former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates with fresh charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.

The investigation by Mr. Mueller's team is centered on whether the loans from Federal Savings Bank, a small bank in Chicago run by chief executive Steve Calk, were made as part of a quid pro quo arrangement to secure Mr. Calk a job in Mr. Trump's administration, the person said.

The charge against van der Zwaan make no reference to Trump's campaign or the 2016 election.

Sam Nunberg, a former political aide to Donald Trump, will be interviewed on Thursday as part of a US special counsel's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Mr. Mueller said he did not have authority to bring the charge in Washington.

"The White House has repeatedly declined to comment on the Manafort and Gates matter as it has nothing to do with the White House or the campaign", White House lawyer Ty Cobb said in response to the latest indictment.

Zwaan, who married the daughter of a Russian-Ukrainian oligarch a year ago, admitted making false statements, as part of a plea agreement with the special prosecutor on the Russia investigation, Robert Mueller.

According to an NBC report out Wednesday, that's what federal investigators are trying to figure out.

In the indictment released Thursday, prosecutors allege Manafort and Gates "hid the existence and ownership of the foreign companies and bank accounts" they oversaw and laundered more than $30 million in income.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges.

After a two-month stretch that produced no additional charges, the new indictment represents the latest flurry of activity for Mueller's team in a one-week span.

Both men are accused of nine counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

But legal experts said the charge would put more pressure on the former Trump aides to cooperate with Mueller as he looks into whether Russian Federation tried to influence the election in favor of Trump by hacking the emails of leading Democrats and distributing disinformation and propaganda online.