Ex-Trump aide looped into Chicago banker's divorce case

ByChuck Goudie and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Saturday, February 24, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

The I-Team has learned that former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's name has been dragged into a high-dollar Chicago divorce case.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Faced with his co-defendant's guilty plea on Friday and with a new indictment against him, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's name has also been dragged into a high-dollar Chicago divorce case.

The divorce involves Chicago banker Stephen Calk, founder and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank headquartered in Fulton Market.

Federal Savings has been named by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as having bankrolled jumbo loans for Manafort shortly after Donald Trump was elected president. In a newly-filed 32-count indictment on Thursday, prosecutors said that Trump's ex-campaign boss falsified bank paperwork to obtain $16 million dollars in mortgage loans for two of his homes. Calk's Federal Savings Bank gave Manafort the loans.

The ABC7 I-Team has learned that those two loans have become snagged in Calk's divorce from his wife filed in Cook County court.

Records examined by the I-Team reveal that Donna Calk's attorneys issued a subpoena in April, 2017 to Federal Savings Bank for financial records including any loan files in Paul Manafort's name.

The next month, in May, Stephen Calk's attorney attempted to block release of those Manafort records and other financial files by filing a motion to quash. Turning over the bank documents-including Manafort's loan files-was described as "oppressive, unreasonable and overbroad."

It is unclear whether a Cook County judge has ruled on the motion to quash the subpoena for Manafort's loan files and attorneys for both Stephen and Donna Calk have not answered requests from the I-Team for information.

The last date that the divorce case was in Cook County court was in December, 2017.

Calk has not been seen at the addresses on file for him or at the west side Chicago bank where he is chairman. He has not returned messages left by the I-Team and neither have public relations contacts for The Federal Savings Bank.

Calk was a Trump supporter in the ramp-up to the 2016 election. During the campaign, some of which was led by Paul Manafort, Calk was an economic advisor on a special panel of experts to Mr. Trump.

Manafort resigned from the top campaign post in August, 2016. He was recipient of the $16 million in loans from Calk's bank after Trump won the November, 2016 presidential election.

Manafort's legal problems doubled on Friday when his friend and business partner Rick Gates pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Gates is now cooperating with the special counsel.

A short time later in Washington prosecutors filed a new set of charges against Manafort-alleging he and Gates secretly recruited and paid former European politicians to lobby in the United States on behalf of Ukraine.