Paul Manafort reveals he secretly advised Trump while awaiting pardon
Paul Manafort, a now-convicted felon who previously served as a campaign manager for former President Donald Trump, has admitted that he'd secretly advised him on handling the 2020 presidential election as he waited to be pardoned.
According to HuffPost, Manafort admitted to doing so in his new book, “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced.”
“I didn’t want anything to get in the way of the president’s reelection or, importantly, a potential pardon,” Manafort wrote in his book, recently obtained by The Guardian.
Manafort faced deep scrutiny amid former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the allegations of Russian election interference in 2016. In 2020, a bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers determined that Manafort "fed 2016 campaign polling information to a Russian intelligence officer, which the Senate deemed a 'grave counterintelligence threat,'" the news outlet reported.
That subsequently led to Manafort being facing conviction for tax and bank fraud, in addition to failure to disclosure a foreign bank account.
In April, Manafort was also sued by the U.S. government in hopes of recovering an estimated $3 million in taxes, penalties, and interest from nearly 2 dozen unreported foreign accounts. When Manafort was released from prison in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, that is when he reportedly began communicating with Trump's circle of allies again.
“There was no contact with anyone in the Trump orbit when I was in prison,” he writes, according to The Guardian. “And I didn’t want any, especially if it could be exploited” by the mainstream media.
“But when the reelection campaign started kicking off, I was interacting, unofficially, with friends of mine who were very involved,” Manafort writes, per The Guardian’s report on his book. “It was killing me not to be there, but I was advising indirectly from my condo” in northern Virginia.
The latest development follows a string of Trump's remarks about Manafort. Per HuffPost, the former president initially insisted Manafort did no wrong and after his sentencing, he admitted feeling “very badly for him.” Manafort was included in the flurry of pardons Trump granted just weeks before leaving office.
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