News & Politics

Paul Manafort May Have Tried to Sell a Job in the White House for $16 Million in Loans

The former campaign chair could be the key to the entire Russia probe.

Photo Credit: mark reinstein / Shutterstock

Investigators for special prosecutor Robert Mueller are looking into whether Paul Manafort, who served as President Donald Trump's campaign chair, offered a job in the administration to a banker in exchange for $16 million in loans, according to NBC News.

The banker in question is Stephen Chalk, the president of Federal Savings Bank. Chalk never ended up with an administration job, though he did serve on the Trump campaign's Council of Economic Advisers. 

NBC News reports that Manafort received the loans from the bank after the election. Some at the bank disagreed with the decision to grant Manafort the loans, the report says, and one of the employees is allegedly working with the special counsel. Politico reported that Mueller has already filed new charges against Manafort, but that they remain sealed temporarily.

Manafort was initially indicted along with his long-time associate Rick Gates, who has reportedly begun cooperating with the special counsel.

So what does this all mean?

From all appearances, the case against Manafort appears to be growing. He is already charged with serious crimes including financial fraud, misleading the government and concealing his status as a foreign agent, which included work for the pro-Russia ex-president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort was fired from the Trump campaign in August 2016 when evidence of his ties to Yanukovych came forward.

With new charges added, Gates turning against him and the pressure mounting, Manafort may end up cooperating with the special counsel.

If that happens, it almost certainly indicates that Mueller will be looking for evidence of wrongdoing by Trump himself. 

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.