Paul Manafort says seeing transferred prisoners reminded him of “Holocaust movies”.
The former Trump adviser was found guilty of numerous federal charges stemming from the Mueller investigation.
He also revealed he had informally advised people close to the 2020 campaign while hoping for a pardon.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said seeing transferred prisoners reminded him of “Holocaust movies”, according to a copy of his forthcoming memoir obtained by the Guardian.
Manafort was convicted at Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of several federal criminal offenses stemming from his overseas lobbying and consulting work.
A Virginia jury found Manafort guilty to eight federal counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to report foreign bank accounts in August 2018. Manafort also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of conspiracy against the United States in a separate case and was sentenced to a total of 7½ years in prison in 2019.
Manafort, according to the Guardian, recounted his experience in the federal prison system in the book, writing that at an airfield “somewhere in Ohio” seeing “prisoners… being herded into long lines and then separated on other buses and then…transport planes…reminded me of Holocaust movies.”
Manafort’s memoir, “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced,” is due August 16. In the book, he describes himself as a victim of the Mueller investigation and the justice system.
Manafort also revealed in the book that he informally advised people close to the Trump campaign after his release from prison to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest amid the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. But Manafort kept that advice secret because he didn’t want to be the scapegoat for Trump’s defeat and thereby jeopardize his chances of receiving a presidential pardon, according to the excerpt.
“I didn’t want anything to stand in the way of the president’s re-election or, more importantly, an eventual pardon,” Manafort wrote, according to the Guardian.
Manafort said he had no communication with Trumpworld while in prison, writing “and I didn’t want it, especially if it could be exploited by MSM” or the mainstream media.
“But when the re-election campaign started, I was interacting, off the record, with friends of mine who were very involved,” Manafort wrote, according to the Guardian. “It was killing me not to be there, but I was advising indirectly from my apartment.”
It remains unclear what Manafort’s informal advice entailed or which friends he spoke with about Trump’s campaign after he was released from prison and moved to an apartment in northern Virginia.
“I still had no promise of forgiveness, but I had an expectation,” Manafort wrote. “My fear was that if I got in the way of the campaign and Trump lost, he might blame me, and I didn’t want that to happen.”
Manafort received a presidential pardon from Trump in December 2020, writing that he learned the news from “a very good doctor friend, Ron, who is also close to Donald and Melania” and a frequent judge at Miss Universe pageants.
‘It was like a switch had been flipped,’ he wrote upon learning that he had been pardoned and telling his wife, according to the Guardian, writing: ‘We hugged and cried. I was free.”
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