How much is a Cabinet post worth?

This criminal case shows how the legal system has become more accepting of the access-marketing and horse trading politicians engage in, often in close proximity of receiving large amounts of money to support their campaigns. This case also serves as a reminder of the fact that these practices can still lead to serious legal problems if they are not regulated, such banking.Calk is facing two felonies for allegedly lending Manafort $16million in exchange for Trump campaign chairman's efforts to get the bank executive an important job in Trump's administration. Calk was eventually interviewed by the Tiger Team, a Trump transition group. He was also considered for the undersecretary of Army. However, he never got a nomination nor a job.Calk must be convicted of the felonies because the jury must determine that the Manafort money he received was worth more than 1,000 dollars. Calk could spend up to 35 years prison if he is convicted. However, federal guidelines would allow for a shorter sentence.According to court records, the prosecutors retained Jeff McCutcheon, a Florida consultant who specializes on executive compensation, as an expert to support their case that Calk's job applications are substantial.McCutcheon has over 37 years of experience working in human resources. He concluded that top administrative jobs can be very lucrative, even though they come with a lower pay scale than those who leave the private sector.McCutcheon, in a 11-page report he prepared for federal prosecutors, stated that a presidential appointment is not worth the immediate salary. Many executives from the United States' largest companies accept government jobs that involve a significant reduction in earnings or restructuring their investments. This is in exchange for long hours, extraordinary public scrutiny, reputational risk and a salary below $200,000 annually.According to the prosecution expert, the two top civilian Army posts Calk sought would be worth much more than what was required to trigger the felony bank corruption statute.McCutcheon stated that either appointment would be of benefit to Mr. Calk or the Bank and could have an exponential value of more than $1,000.McCutcheons report is focused on Calk's victory and the Army roles that he was considered for. It doesn't mention his desire to head a federal agency. The compensation expert does discuss the financial prospects for Cabinet members, but he also seems to misunderstand the Secretary of the Army post as a Cabinet position.McCutcheon examined the career paths of several Army secretaries in recent years. McCutcheon noted that Sec. David Fanning turned that position into a $1,000,000-per-year job as the Aerospace Industries Association's head. After serving at the Pentagon, Fanning's predecessor, ex-Rep. John McHugh of N.Y., went to K&L Gates. According to an expert, McHugh earned more than $400,000 in lobbying.McCutcheon concluded that Calks appointment as a Trump campaign economic advisor board member was well worth over $1,000 because of the connections, social status and publicity that this service brought. According to McCutcheon, the expense that members of such boards were willing and able to pay out of their own pockets demonstrates the value of this type of appointment.Prosecutors got Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director, to emphasize that Calks would be enriched if he was named to the advisory panel.Scaramucci stated that it is a highly prestigious title.McCutcheon acknowledged that not all high-profile U.S. government positions are good for one's reputation. He noted that some appointees are disgraceful.McCutcheon was the expert in compensation. However, they did not list any prior assignments to determine the amount of an alleged bribe.Prosecutors wrote that it is permissible for an executive compensation expert with long-standing experience to make qualitative judgements about the value and prestige of prestigious positions.Calks defense is that there was no connection between the job Calks was seeking and the loans to Manafort. However, his lawyers have also disputed Manafort's assistance as being out of the ordinary or if it has any financial value.Calks lawyers criticized McCutcheons method in a court filing. They called it completely lacking in rigor.McCutcheons methods can be, at best, inconsistent and more often than that, completely illusory, wrote defense attorneys Paul Schoeman, and Darren LaVerne.U.S. District Judge Lorna Schoffield, however, ruled that McCutcheon's opinions were admissible in advance of the trial. In a trial that is expected to last for several weeks, he has not yet taken the stand.Defence lawyers also stated that Calk received no value and Manafort could not offer any assistance in applying for the job.Although the government case is still pending, it seems that Calk's benefit from Manafort wasn't really a job. It was help in getting one. Alexandra Rothman, an Assistant U.S. attorney, stated that the illegally obtained multimillion-dollar loans from the bank executive was not a job, nor even a job interview. She wanted favors from Manafort.Paul Manafort bribed Stephen Calk. Rothman stated that Manafort gave him favors, and Calk gave him loans to finance his political influence.Recent years have seen the Supreme Court and other courts look suspicious at a number of alleged cases of political corruption. This often limited the authority that prosecutors claimed they had in pursuit of corrupt deals.The Bridgegate case saw two former aides to the governor being tried and thrown out by the justices. Chris Christie, a Republican from New Jersey, was charged with creating traffic snarls at a federally funded bridge in political retaliation for an uncooperative mayor. In the case against former Virginia Governor. Robert McDonnell, a Republican was charged with bribery for arranging a meeting or inviting to an event.An appeals court in federal district dismissed some charges against the former Illinois Democratic Governor. Rod Blagojevich concluded that trading a Senate vacancy to get a Cabinet job under the Obama administration was not a crime, even though Blagojevich was looking for the job. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stated that such trades are commonplace in political logrolling.Although these rulings might seem to weaken the idea that seeking political favors for a loan from a bank is a crime in theory, experts say the conduct alleged by Calk is likely still illegal. However, a similar trade-off for campaign donations is unlikely to be.Albert Alschuler, Northwestern Law professor, stated that the Supreme Court has a unique standard for distinguishing campaign contributions from bribes. He said that the justices see it this way because it is necessary to collect money to fund political campaigns. This is theft from a bank. This theory is not valid.McCutcheons report contains some comparisons, perhaps inadvertently. They highlight the contrast between Calk's case and the lax approach that the law often takes when it comes to the mixing of money with actions in politics. McCutcheon, for example, suggests that many ambassadorships can be traded for campaign contributions.A prestigious position is seen as an act of service that has value. The compensation expert said that large campaign donors receive ambassador roles in a pleasant environment.Even though such arrangements are illegal, criminal cases arising from such trades are rare. Herbert Kalmbach (a lawyer for President Richard Nixon) pleaded guilty in 1974 to accepting a $100,000 campaign donation in exchange for a switch in the location of an ambassadorial nominations position from one in the Caribbean to one in Europe.Manafort was pardoned by Trump in December. He served approximately two years of seven-and-a half years for various charges, including underpaid taxes, unreported bank accounts, and acting as an illegal foreign agent. Although Manafort was found guilty of some charges, Manafort pleaded guilty in other cases. However, the jury failed to convict him on four counts of conspiracy and bank fraud involving loans from Calks bank. The jury leaned 11-1 for conviction.Calks has not yet charged Manafort with the act of bribing Calks to allow him to testify. Calks defense has taken advantage of Manafort's alleged lies regarding his financial situation to argue that the banker was not trying to push bad loans onto the bank and was being deceived about Manaforts finances.