On Tuesday, Rick Gates testified that Paul Manafort recommended President Trump nominate a banker who allegedly loaned him money under false pretenses as secretary of the Army.
Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman, is on trial, accused of bank and tax fraud, and Gates, who pleaded guilty in February to lying to the FBI, is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Gates testified that Manafort suggested Stephen Calk as Army secretary two weeks after Trump was elected, when Gates was working on the transition team. Manafort and Gates were longtime business associates, and prosecutors showed the jury an email Manafort sent Gates on Nov. 24, 2016, which read, "We need to discuss Steve Calk for Sec of Army."
Two days before Christmas, Manafort sent Gates another email, which included a list of people he wanted to go to Trump's inauguration, including Calk and his son. Prosecutors say that Calk, a retired Army officer, allegedly had his bank, Federal Savings Bank, extend a mortgage to Manafort in 2016 based on fake financials. Calk was named to Trump's Economic Advisory Council in August 2016, but never received a position in his administration.