The Daily Beast

‘Political Prisoner’ Paul Manafort Was a Sh*tty Cellmate

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Handout

It was déjà vu watching my old cellmate Paul Manafort give his first TV interview, breaking months of silence following his Covid-blessed release from prison and then his pardon from outgoing President Trump. Manafort’s old friend and text buddy Sean Hannity (“we’re all on the same team”) had him on Monday night to throw a pity party and promote Trump’s former campaign manager’s upcoming book, Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, But Not Silenced.

I was Manafort’s celly for a few weeks in 2019 at the MCC federal lock-up in Manhattan, where I was doing time on a tax fraud charge (and where I also ended up as Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide watch inmate companion). And from where I sat (and slept), Paulie was mostly full of shit.

I can’t speak to Manafort’s claim in his interview about suffering in solitary, since he spent just one day there on arrival at MCC before he was forwarded to general population, with yours truly as his bunky. Manafort did not suffer at MCC. Inmates kissed his ass because he was famous, did not rat out his boss, and could hopefully give them lessons on money laundering.

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