By the time Donald Trump was elected in the fall of 2016, Paul Manafort was no longer on the Republican's team, but he remained in the then-president-elect's orbit. In fact, as Rachel explained on the show, Trump's former campaign chairman was even involved in a bribery scheme related directly to the former administration.
In fact, as NBC News reported, the scheme led to an important conviction yesterday.
A former Chicago bank executive was convicted Tuesday in a scheme to arrange $16 million in loans for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for a high-level position in the Trump administration. Stephen Calk, the former CEO of The Federal Savings Bank, was found guilty of financial institution bribery and conspiracy to commit financial institution bribery after a three-week trial in Manhattan.
The controversy is remarkable in the degree to which it resembles the plot of a cringe-worthy movie.
In late 2016 and early 2017, Manafort was desperately in need of money, and so he put his influence to good use -- by selling it to Stephen Calk.
In fact, Calk arranged a series of high-risk loans to Manafort, totaling $16 million. In exchange, Calk got a foot in the door: After the first loan, Manafort arranged for Calk to serve on the Trump campaign's economic advisory council. After the second loan, Calk sent Manafort a list of jobs in the administration for which he expected to be considered.
The list came with a header listing "perspective rolls" -- Calk apparently meant "prospective roles," but he misspelled both words -- he could play in the Republican administration, starting with secretary of the Army. If that wasn't available, he was prepared to settle for a variety of other positions, including a couple of cabinet agencies Calk felt prepared to lead.
The fact that the banker put all of this in writing clearly helped prosecutors. It also apparently helped jurors in the case, who didn't need to deliberate long before finding Calk guilty.
For the record, Manafort received his millions, but Calk did not get any of the jobs he apparently thought he was buying. Manafort sent Calk's resume to Jared Kushner, and the banker did eventually get an interview at Trump Tower, but the process went no further.
Manafort was convicted of a variety of crimes, including this bribery scheme, though he was eventually pardoned by Trump. Calk, who faces a maximum prison sentence of up to 30 years, won't be nearly as fortunate.