After Donald Trump won the presidential election in November of 2016 former campaign manager Manafort sent Kushner an email in which he gave his advice for who should be appointed to senior positions within the new administration.
“Manafort emailed Kushner with recommendations for senior administration posts”
— Top News Today (@topnewstodayx) August 14, 2018
The fact that presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner’s name is now part of the evidence in Manafort’s trial is interesting but does directly implicate him in any crimes or other wrongdoing.
The list of recommendations sent to Kushner by Manafort included the controversial “suggestion” that Federal Savings Bank chair Stephen Calk be appointed as secretary of the Army. This was done in an email dated November 30, 2016 according to information provided by the U.S. Justice Department.
At the same time that Manafort was putting forth Calk’s name for the high level and very high profile Army Secretary position, Manafort was receiving from Calk some extremely valuable quid pro quo to complete his part of the illicit transaction.
At the time the email to Kishner was sent Manafort had already received the first installment of a $16 million loan from Calk’s bank under sweetheart terms that would be available to noone else. There is no indication that Manafort provided sufficient collateral for the loan or actually met any of the legal banking requirements for such a large loan.
Even though he was forced to resign in disgrace from his position in the Trump campaign his trial has shown that Manafort still had great influence in the Trump transition and even found ways to benefit monetarily from selling this influence.
In the Kushner email Manafort recommended two other people to receive appointed positions within the new Trump administration. In the email Manafort wrote to Kushner, “The 3 individuals are people who I believe advance DT agenda. They will be totally reliable and responsive to the Trump White House.”
Kushner’s response to Manafort’s suggestions shows that he still had a lot of respect from high levels of Trump’s team. There was no delay on the part of Kushner and as soon as he got Manafort’s email he immediately responded, saying “On it!”
Kushner and Manafort, as senior Trump advisers, were both part of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents which took place in June of 2016 and had worked together closely on the Trump campaign.
There was no evidence entered into the trial record that Kushner was aware of any financial connection between Manafort and Calk, but it is not clear why Kushner was so eager to listen to Manafort’s recommendations.
Trial evidence did show Manafort receiving a $9.5 million loan from Calk’s bank in November 2016 after the election, and an additional $6.5 million loan in January 2017, after Trump’s inauguration.
Calk was named to an economic adviser position during the campaign, but there was no evidence given by prosecutors to show whether Trump considered following through on Manafort’s suggestions.
Before Manafort sent the email to Kushner he had had talked to Calk about other possible administration positions. In a separate email also released Monday by prosecutors, Calk forwarded to Manafort his bio and a list of 29 different administration positions he would consider in exchange for making the large unsecured loans.
Calk included in his list of acceptable administration posts the top jobs at Treasury, Defense, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development. He also listed 19 potential ambassadorships, including the United Kingdom, France, Holy See and China.
Manafort also emailed Kushner the name of Vernon Parker to be deputy attorney general. Parker is an Arizona Republican and former official in the Bush administrations.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.