Manafort Book Details 'Conspiracy That Never Existed' Paul Manafort in a May 23, 2018, file photo (AP)
By Michael Dorstewitz | Friday, 12 August 2022 01:55 PM EDT
Former Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort stakes his claim in a new book that his conviction on tax charges and failing to register as a lobbyist for foreign governments all stem from the fact that he refused to provide evidence of a “conspiracy that never existed.”
Manafort, the chair of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, explains in his soon-to-be released “Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, but Not Silenced” about “the hoax that sent a presidential campaign chairman to solitary confinement because he wouldn’t turn against the President of the United States.”
Arrested and indicted in 2017 as a result of the Robert Mueller probe into supposed collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, which the special counsel’s investigation found no evidence of, he was indicted and convicted on counts of lobbying for foreign governments and related bank documentation, all of which was unrelated to the focus of the inquiry.
“These were all politically motivated charges manufactured by the Special Counsel’s team for one reason and one reason only: to get Paul to testify against Donald Trump about a conspiracy that never existed,” according to the book’s summary. “When they hear the basis of these spurious charges, Americans will wonder what country they are living in and what has happened to our system of justice.”
Manafort was sentenced to 71/2 years at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania. He was released to home confinement because of COVID-19 concerns in May 2020, and Trump pardoned Manafort seven months later.
“There was no contact with anyone in the Trump orbit when I was in prison. And I didn’t want any, especially if it could be exploited by the MSM [mainstream media],” he wrote in the book.
That changed when he was released from prison and confined to a Northern Virginia apartment.
“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.”
He told Business Insider that he’d “always had the right motives,” and therefore won’t apologize for any mistakes.
“But I’m not unwilling to explain myself,” he said. “There are certain things that I would probably not do again. But I don’t apologize for things I’ve done in my life. Because I’ve always had the right motives for what I did in my life.”
He also cautioned that people should not form their opinions solely on what was written in the Mueller report.
“In presidential politics, everybody’s looking at what winning might mean. Everybody is. And what they end up doing depends on the situation,” he told Business Insider.
Manafort was one of the biggest casualties of the campaign of disinformation that was promoted by leaks from the Mueller team, mainstream media, and the Democratic Party that distinguished the 2016 presidential race.
In addition to the Trump campaign being the target of surveillance by then-President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, Manafort alleged that he and other members of the team were personally targeted for spying by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Manafort alleges in the book that Cohen “had access to everybody’s communications. He had knowledge, and he would be sitting in his office gaining knowledge, by virtue of spying on the campaign.”