- Paul Manafort says seeing prisoners being transferred reminded him of “movies about the Holocaust.”
- Trump’s former advisor was convicted of numerous federal charges stemming from the Mueller probe.
- He also revealed that he informally advised people close to the 2020 campaign while hoping for a pardon.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort said seeing prisoners being transferred reminded him of “movies about the Holocaust,” according to a copy of his forthcoming memoir obtained by the Guardian.
Manafort was convicted during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation for multiple federal criminal offenses stemming from his overseas lobbying and consulting work.
A Virginia jury found Manafort guilty of eight federal counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts in August 2018. Manafort additionally pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and one count of conspiracy against the US in a separate case and was sentenced to a total of 7 1/2 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 in long lines and then separated into other buses and on to. ..transport planes… reminded me of movies about the Holocaust. “
Manafort’s memoir, “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced,” is due for release on August 16. In the book, he painted himself as a victim of the Mueller probe and the justice system.
Manafort also revealed in the book that he informally advised people close to the Trump campaign after he was released from prison to serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement amid the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. But Manafort kept this advising under wraps because he didn’t want to be scapegoated for Trump losing and thus jeopardize his chances of receiving a presidential pardon, per the excerpt.
“I didn’t want anything to get in the way of the president’s re-election or, importantly, a potential pardon,” Manafort wrote, according to the Guardian.
Manafort said he had zero communication with Trumpworld while in prison, writing, “and I didn’t want any, especially if it could be exploited by the MSM,” or mainstream media.
“But when the re-election campaign started kicking off, I was interacting, unofficially, with friends of mine who were very involved,” Manafort wrote, per the Guardian. “It was killing me not to be there, but I was advising indirectly from my condo.”
It remains unclear what Manafort’s informal advising involved or which friends he was speaking with about Trump’s campaign after he left prison and moved to an apartment in northern Virginia.
“I still had no promise of a pardon, 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 did not 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 the Miss Universe pageants.
“It was like a switch was pressed,” he wrote of learning he was pardoned and telling his wife, according to the Guardian, writing, “We hugged and cried. I was free.”