Paul Manafort indirectly advised former president Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign while in home confinement as part of a seven-year sentence for offenses but kept it a secret in hopes of a presidential pardon.
Manafort was released from prison in May 2020 to home confinement for offenses that included tax fraud. He stayed in an apartment in northern Virginia. From there, Manafort recontacted the Trump world. He was the 2016 campaign manager for Trump.
In a new book, Manafort admits to helping Trump in the 2020 campaign but kept it a secret in hopes of a pardon.
“I didn’t want anything to get in the way of the president’s re-election or, importantly, a potential pardon,” Manafort wrote in the book.
“There was no contact with anyone in the Trump orbit when I was in prison,” he writes. “And I didn’t want any, especially if it could be exploited by the MSM [Mainstream Media, a derogatory term in rightwing circles].
“But when the re-election campaign started kicking off, I was interacting, unofficially, with friends of mine who were very involved. It was killing me not to be there, but I was advising indirectly from my condo.”
It is a startling admission in the book, called Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced. It’s a memoir that will be published next month in the United States.
The book includes strenuous denials of colluding with Russia and ridicules investigations made by the special counsel, Congress, and the intelligence community.
In August 2018, special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow. A case arose from the Russian interference investigation, finding Manafort guilty on eight counts, five of tax fraud, two of bank fraud, and one of failure to report a foreign bank account.
Manafort was sentenced to 43 months in prison and then was sentenced to another three and a half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy including money laundering and unregistered lobbying, and a count related to witness tampering. Manafort was also found to have violated an agreement with Mueller, by lying.