Paul Manafort admitted to indirectly advising Trump in 2020 but kept it a secret while awaiting pardon. Books

Paul Manafort indirectly advised Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign while in home imprisonment as part of a seven-year sentence for crimes including tax fraud – the advice he kept secret as he expected a presidential pardon.

Trump’s 2016 campaign manager wrote in his new book, “I didn’t want anything to come in the way of the president’s re-election or, importantly, a possible pardon.”

In May 2020, when COVID-19 ravaged the prison system, Manafort was imprisoned. He stayed in an apartment in northern Virginia. From there, he re-established contact with Trumpworld.

“While I was in prison, Trump had no contact with anyone in the classroom,” he writes. “And I didn’t want any, especially if it can be exploited by MSM” [Mainstream Media, a derogatory term in rightwing circles],

“But when the re-election campaign started, I was interacting informally with my friends who were involved. It was killing me not to be there, but I was advising it indirectly from my condo. ,

The shocking admission is written in Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, But Not Silent, a memoir that will be published in America next month. The Guardian obtained a copy.

Throughout the book, Manafort, 73, denies collusion with Russia and scoffs at investigations by special counsel, Robert Mueller, Congress and the US intelligence community.

But in August 2018, in Virginia, a case stemming from the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference and the relationship between Trump and Moscow, Manafort was found guilty of eight counts: five of tax fraud, two of bank fraud and one of foreign reporting. failure to do so. bank account.

In March 2019, he was sentenced to 43 months in prison. Later that month, in Washington DC, Manafort was sentenced to an additional three-and-a-half years, pleading guilty to conspiracy charges including money laundering and one count related to unregistered lobbying and witness tampering.

Manafort had violated an agreement with Mueller by lying.

In his memoir, Manafort describes his journey through the American prison system—including living in a Manhattan facility with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Mexican drug baron Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

In another shocking passage, Manafort writes that during a transfer between facilities, “somewhere in Ohio” to a private airfield, “prisoners … flock in long lines and then into other buses and … transportation.” The sight of being separated in planes … reminded me of films about the Holocaust”.

Manafort ran Trump’s campaign between May and August 2016, when he resigned soon after the arrival of Steve Bannon as campaign chairman, amid a scandal over alleged evidence of payments linked to consulting work in Ukraine.

In his book, Manafort denies wrongdoing in relation to the so-called “Black Ledger”, but writes: “My resignation only briefly diverted attention from the story of Russian collusion.”

Describing his informal advice for the Trump campaign in 2020, after four years of scandal, trial and imprisonment, he writes: “I had no sanctions against it, but I didn’t want it to become an issue. “

He continues: “I still had no promise of forgiveness, but I had a hope. 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. ,

Trump lost to Joe Biden – a result Manafort, whose career in politics began as a campaign worker for President Gerald Ford, puts Biden’s campaign down to better understand Trump’s limitations than Hillary Clinton Is.

But he attributed his defeat to Trump’s lies about electoral fraud, writing: “I believed there were patterns that were erratic. In battlefield states the results were close enough that the fraud won. And it can be the difference between losing.

After Trump lost, Manafort writes, he stopped “calling the day after he started working for an apology” and instead waited for Trump.

Manafort says the news of her pardon came through a mediator, “a very good doctor friend, Ron, who is also close to Donald and Melania” and “was always one of the judges” when Trump walked him.

The friend spoke to Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump adviser, who shared the good news. Manafort was pardoned on 23 December 2020 – two weeks before the culmination of Trump’s attempt to reverse the election, the deadly US Capitol attack, an incident that Manafort does not address.

Manafort writes to his wife, Cathy, that “it was pressed like a switch,” he was forgiven.

“We hugged and cried. I was free.”

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