Feds Interview Chicago Banker As Part Of Russia Probe

(CBS) – CBS 2 News is learning there’s  a Chicago connection to Paul Manafort, the indicted former campaign manager for President Donald Trump.

A local bank CEO has been talking to the FBI.

In August 2016, Chicago banker Steve Calk cited his hometown in explaining why he was supporting Republican Trump for president.

“I want to see my town, Chicago, back on top, and I think the best way to do that is to help bolster our economy,” he told CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley.

Calk is the founder and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago. Last year, he was a Trump campaign adviser.

Published reports say Calk’s bank provided as much as $16 million in loans to Manafort, the one-time chairman of the Trump presidential campaign, who is accused of money-laundering, among other charges.

Calk told CBS 2’s Jim Williams on Tuesday he cannot discuss his financial connection to Manafort.

“It would be a breach of my fiduciary responsibility, possibly against the law,” he said.

He added he has been asked by the FBI not to discuss the case.

There is no indication Calk himself is the focus of an investigation.

But CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller says the feds, in investigating Manafort, would have wanted  unlimited financial records, including those with Calk’s bank.

“They will look at everything under the sun and show it all to a gentleman they call a forensic accountant. And the forensic accountant will look all this stuff, and he will be able to tell you purchasing habits, where money came from.”

Calk says the bank has been thorough in cooperating with the investigation.

“We’ve dotted every I, crossed every T,” he said.

Calk suggested people not make too much of his dealings with Manafort.

“We make thousands of loans, many to high-profile people on both sides of the aisle,” he said.

The city of Chicago in 2012 provided $3.56 million in job training funding to Federal Savings to train more than 400 employees when the bank moved here, a spokesperson for the Emanuel Administration says.

State government, meanwhile, in 2012 promised up to $10 million in tax credits to the bank. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office says the bank did not collect on those credits because it did not provide enough information to the state.

A Chicagoan has been charged in connection with Special Counsel Bob Mueller’s investigation: George Papadopoulos. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his ties to Russia.

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