On August 19, 2016, Manafort left the Trump campaign, after being pushed out.
That same day, Manafort filed papers to create a new shell company: Summerbreeze LLC.
In September 2016, Summerbreeze got a $3.5 million loan from Spruce Capital, a New York investment firm whose co-founder has developed Trump hotel projects and that is financially backed by a Ukrainian billionaire. (Manafort’s home in the Hamptons was the collateral.)
After Trump won the election, in late 2016, Summerbeeze got another $9.5 million loan from the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago. And in January 2017, that same bank loaned Manafort $6.5 million more
Those last loans seemed particularly odd because, per the Times, the Federal Savings Bank of Chicago “focuses on affordable mortgages for military veterans,” and the loan to
Manafort amounted to more than 5 percent of its total assets. Furthermore, the bank’s head, Stephen Calk, was part of Trump’s economic advisory
council during the campaign — raising questions of impropriety.
Manafort had promised Calk a Trump administration job in return for those loans. He specifically offered him a position of Secretary of the Army. Calk even called into the Army to try and introduce himself and prepare for his new position.
Calk didn’t end up getting any job. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Calk hoped to become Secretary of the Army.
These loans were a direct payoff from Vladimir Putin and Russia for Manafort's work on the Trump campaign coordinating Trump with Russia. Manafort like Trump is a
long time launderer of Russian Mob money in New York. Manafort had already worked directly for Putin in the Ukraine as had others like Rick Gates.
The Russian Mob paid Manafort off 16 million for his work helping to get Trump elected. The first 6 million was deposited into Manafort's account the day after
he was fired from the Trump campaign.
There have been several recent reports suggesting that Manafort’s longtime business partner Rick Gates,
who was indicted alongside him last October, is on the verge of “flipping” and making a plea deal
with Mueller’s team.
A lawyer who had worked with Manafort and Gates on their Ukraine work - Alex van der Zwaan - pleaded guilty to making false statements.
He admitted to lying to Mueller’s team about when his last communications with Gates and another unnamed person took place,
and lying about deleting and not providing relevant emails to investigators.
Note that Manafort taking Russian Oligarch money in the tens of millions also sets a pattern for what Donald Trump has done with the Presidency.
Here's Manafort stumbling in his explanation of whether Donald Trump has financial ties to Russian Oligarchs. Now we know based on what's been revealed
in Manafort's trial that as he was saying this,
Manafort himself was taking 16 million from Russian Oligarchs.
Manafort is obviously lieing here when he's denying Donald has ever taken any money from Russian Oligarchs. At the 2 minute point in the clip, when asked if
it's true that "Trump has no financial relationships with any Russian Oligarchs,"
Manafort stumbles and says "That's what he said. That's what I said.. That's
what our position is...."
Ironically, Manafort saying "that's what I said" makes more sense if you realize that at the time he's taking 16 million from Russian Oligarchs through offshore
banks in Cyprus. Manafort's not just lieing for the President, he's also lieing for himself.