Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is ready to interview 10 to 20 business associates of Paul Manafort in an ongoing investigation into the former Trump campaign manager’s real estate loans in New York City.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the list of people already scheduled be questioned includes Steve Calk, chair of the Chicago-based Federal Savings Bank and former Trump campaign economic adviser, who lent Manafort $16 million across three separate real estate loans in 2016 and 2017.
Although no charges have been put together, local prosecutors are probing whether Manafort used the funds from these loans for the purposes stipulated in the loan agreements. Investigators are also scrutinizing deals made by Manafort’s former son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, who is being investigated by the FBI for possibly running a Ponzi scheme.
Separately, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York have each investigated whether real estate transactions involving Manafort amounted to money laundering.
The New York investigations are also distinct from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unfolding inquiry into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian government-connected individuals during the 2016 presidential campaign, which has already resulted in the October indictment of Manafort and his associate Rick Gates for money laundering and tax evasion, charges that implicated Manafort’s townhouse in Brooklyn and his condominium in lower Manhattan.
If Manafort pleads guilty or is convicted on any charges brought by Vance or Schneiderman’s office, he couldn’t be pardoned by President Trump. [Bloomberg] —Will Parker