A federal judge unsealed text messages Friday between former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Fox News host Sean Hannity showing the pair discussing the special counsel’s investigation.
The messages, which date from July 14, 2017 to June 5, 2018, show Manafort expressed confidence he would win his court battle with the special counsel. He also said he believed prosecutors wanted him to “make shit up” about President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in order to get a sweetheart deal with the government.
Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the text messages unsealed.
Manafort was found guilty on Aug. 21, 2018 of bank fraud and money laundering. He has been sentenced to a total of seven-and-a-half years in prison.
Hannity offered a sympathetic ear to Manafort while also pressing aggressively for an interview with the longtime GOP operative, the text messages show.
“They are self righteous criminals,” Manafort wrote on Feb. 3, 2018.
“Don’t let those assholes get u down. Punch back HARD,” Hannity wrote on Oct. 28, 2017, a day after the first indictment against Manafort was handed down.