Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is now officially part of the trove of evidence in Paul Manafort’s criminal trial, as part of an email exchange with the former campaign chairman about potential senior administration jobs.
Manafort sent Kushner a recommendation to appoint Federal Savings Bank chair Stephen Calk as secretary of the Army in a November 30, 2016, email released Monday by the Justice Department.
At the same time, Manafort had received the first part of what would be $16 million in loans from Calk’s bank, according to testimony Monday from James Brennan, the bank’s vice president.
Manafort also suggested two other possible Trump appointees, Pat Sink and Vernon Parker, according to the email released Monday.
“The 3 indivituals (sic) are people who I believe advance DT agenda. They will be totally reliable and responsive to the Trump White House,” Manafort wrote to Kushner.
Kushner responded that same day, “On it!”
Earlier trial documents had showed that Manafort spoke about Calk to Rick Gates, his longtime deputy who stayed with the Trump campaign and transition after Manafort’s August 2016 resignation.
The White House and Trump himself have minimized Manafort as a short-timer in their political bubble.
There’s no indication from prosecutors whether the Trump transition team entertained Manafort’s suggestion, or that Kushner was aware of any financial connection between Manafort and Calk.
Manafort got a $9.5 million loan from the bank in November 2016, coinciding with the election, and a $6.5 million loan in January 2017, Trump’s inauguration. Calk was named to an economic adviser position during the campaign.
Before Manafort’s email to Kushner, he and Calk discussed possible administration posts. In another email released Monday, Calk sent his bio and a list of 29 possible jobs.
The list of “Perspective Rolls (sic),” as Calk wrote, included the top jobs at Treasury, Defense, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development.
Calk also listed 19 potential ambassadorships, including the United Kingdom, France, Holy See and China.
Manafort has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of tax and banking crimes in the first major trial of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Suggestion to help Sessions respond to ‘bogus racist charges’
One of the names Manafort submitted was meant to help then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions deflect criticism of racism.
Manafort sent Kushner the name of Vernon Parker, an Arizona Republican and former official in both Bush administrations, to be deputy attorney general.
“As a black appointment, Parker would bring administrative skills to the position and would be a visible answer to the bogus racist charges that will be leveled against Jeff Sessions,” Manafort wrote.
Rod Rosenstein would be nominated and confirmed to the deputy AG job in early 2017 – and now oversees Mueller and the Russia investigation.