Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would never give up information on President Donald Trump or senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, according to newly unsealed texts between the two men in 2017 and 2018.
A court unsealed more than 50 pages of texts that show Manafort was scared and defiant and did not think special counsel Robert Mueller would cut a cooperation deal with him because Manafort wouldn’t give up Trump or his family.
“They would want me to give up DT or family, esp JK. I would never do that,” Manafort texted.
Hannity replied, saying, “Understand. There is nothing to give up on DT. What did JK do?”
Manafort wrote: “Nothin, just like i did nothing. They will want me to make up s— on both.”
Hannity addressed the texts’ release in a statement Friday, saying, “My view of the Special Counsel investigation and the treatment of Paul Manafort were made clear every day to anyone who listens to my radio show or watches my TV show.”
The texts were released along with the transcript of an April hearing where Judge Amy Berman Jackson was considering whether Manafort or his attorney Kevin Downing had violated a gag order through the communications.
Jackson decided to have the lawyers involved in the case determine what, “if any,” portions of the texts and hearing transcript should be publicly released once “some portion of the Mueller Report becomes publicly available.”
In the transcript of the April 2 hearing, Jackson says she is unlikely to do anything more with the texts.
“And absent further information from the government that there were more communications, I’m unlikely to do anything beyond today,” she said.
Manafort was moved by the federal prison system to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan earlier this month, and recently faced a possible move to Rikers Island while he faced the state charges against him from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The case was made public minutes after Manafort was sentenced by a federal judge in March in Washington, DC, for crimes uncovered by the Mueller investigation.
However, he may not be headed to the infamous Rikers after the Trump administration’s new deputy attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, fielded a request from his defense lawyers to keep him in a federal prison.