The Slatest

Manafort Prosecutors Rest, Defense Tries to Get Charges Thrown Out

Paul Manafort walks into a court hearing.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing on May 23 in Washington. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

At the end of the 10th day of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s trial for bank and tax fraud, the prosecution rested and the defense asked to get the case thrown out. The motion, long expected, asked Judge T.S. Ellis III to acquit Manafort, arguing that the prosecution hadn’t shown that Manafort’s false filings were used by banks to decide to give him loans, BuzzFeed News reported.

A Federal Savings Bank employee named Jim Brennan, meanwhile, told jurors that Manafort hadn’t included some debts on his loan application to the bank. According to testimony, the bank’s credit committee had challenged Manafort’s application, but the bank’s CEO, Steve Calk, made sure Manafort would get the loan. Calk’s role in the loan approval raised some hackles with Judge Ellis, who suggested that anything untrue Manafort told the bank in order to get a loan wasn’t legally meaningful if the bank’s CEO was aware of it. FSB ended up losing $12 million, Brennan said, according to Politico.

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“The trouble I’m having is that one of the conspirators is an owner of the bank that you contend was defrauded,” he said. The prosecutors argued that since Calk was a manager and only part-owner, as opposed to the sole funder or sole owner, the bank itself could still be defrauded with his help.

“[Brennan] testified Calk helped Manafort secure loans with the bank because Calk had wanted a Cabinet-level position in the Trump administration,” the Washington Post reported. The bank ended up lending Manafort $16 million, which “combined represent[ed] the largest loans the bank had ever issued up to that point in time,” Brennan told the court, according to the Washington Post.

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