Paul Manafort, the 2016 Trump campaign chairman and author of the new book, "Political Prisoner," said the fallout from the FBI's Aug. 8 raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort just keeps getting more absurd.
"We're talking about documents in a box in a basement," Manafort told Newsmax Wednesday afternoon, while appearing on "American Agenda" with hosts Bob Sellers and Katrina Szish.
Manafort was referencing the atmosphere that followed the FBI reportedly seizing 11 sets of documents from Trump's Florida home a few weeks ago and that some of the materials might have been deemed "classified" or "top secret."
The Department of Justice and FBI "wanted the drama," said Manafort, adding that no U.S. president warrants an early morning federal raid on his property.
"The historical precedent of [President Joe Biden's DOJ] going against your previous opponent, who may also be your future opponent — something like this is outrageous," said Manafort.
The Trump document speculation, said Manafort, "is all meant to be dramatic. It's all meant to try and deflect ... from the terrible record of the [Biden's] economy because we have elections coming up in November."
When pressed on the DOJ reportedly not favoring Trump's "special master" request, in terms of having an impartial party preside over the documents grievance, Manafort offered this response: "The Washington office of the FBI is not going to be exposed as 'politically corrupt' by outside groups."
Manafort speculated the DOJ wants to indict Trump and then conduct a trial in the Democrat-heavy nation's capital — instead of Trump's home state of Florida.
The notion of Trump "being treated fairly is just not credible, given the last seven years of the FBI," said Manafort. "There's no damage in having a special master look at the documents" with "fresh eyes ... so they can make a non-political judgment."
Manafort then added the FBI and DOJ "have certainly earned the right to be questioned."
As an example to the above statement, Manafort pointed to the DOJ/FBI recently sending out a photo, via social media, that apparently had Trump's "top secret" materials all strewn on a floor.
"This is, again, from the Department of Justice, the pursuit of a conviction in the court of public opinion first," said Manafort. "The documents say 'Top Secret,' but the president had the right to declassify everything [before leaving office in January 2021]. ... 'Top Secret' doesn't mean it's still classified."
As for the picture, which Manafort believes was "staged" by the feds, "the [DOJ] photo is meant to condemn. They're giving a message [to the public] without any understanding of what's behind the message."
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