Wyclef Jean is optimistic that when the dust settles, his Fugees bandmate Pras Michel will be victorious at the end of a major legal battle.
As previously reported by REVOLT in April, Michel was convicted of conspiring with Malaysian financier Jho Low in an attempt to influence the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. He was found guilty of 10 financial and political charges, including acting as an agent of a foreign government, witness tampering and falsifying campaign records.
The musician admitted to accepting $20 million from Low in 2012 but claimed the funds were to secure a photo opportunity with Obama. He also disclosed that he used the money to gain his friends access to the former president’s re-election fundraisers. “Once he gave me the money, it was my discretion how I spent the money because it’s my money,” he said while on the witness stand. He faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars but has yet to be sentenced.
The scandal brought fans’ hopes of new Fugees music and a full reunion tour from the trio, which also includes Lauryn Hill, to a halt. Jean, however, says there is more to Michel’s story than what has been spelled out in headlines. “You know what is a funny thing? Is there’s an amplification of what y’all see online, and y’all can amplify it as big as y’all want,” he told Sway when he appeared on the radio personality’s SiriusXM show.
The Masquerade artist added, “You can’t get caught up in the illusion of the internet because you gotta understand, if I may — as someone who is an ex-presidential candidate of a country and has put himself in the line of fire… when I said I was going to be president of Haiti, there was no Donald Trump, there was no Kanye saying they was going to be president… There’s what you see, and then there’s what’s behind the curtains, you know what I mean? I do believe that Pras is going to be okay because I feel like the amplification of what happened versus, like, what’s behind closed doors is two different things. So I do believe that he’s going to come up on top.”
Earlier this month, Pras appeared in court again after accusing his trial attorney of incompetence amid claims he used AI technology to write his defense.