Paul Manafort is serving his seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence while he awaits trial for a separate state case, but a new report shows that in the meantime, the Donald Trump-William Barr Justice Department is giving him special treatment.
According to The New York Times, Manafort “had been expected to be transferred to the notorious Rikers Island jail complex,” but “the Justice Department intervened” to make sure that didn’t happen.
The Rikers Island jail complex that Manafort was expected to be sent to “has long been plagued by violence and mismanagement, prompting efforts to close it,” but The New York Times noted that the former Trump campaign manager was already going to be “held in protective custody for his own safety, isolated from the general population and under heavy guard.”
Still, Wiliam Barr’s top deputy stepped in to make sure Manafort didn’t get the same treatment that just about every other federal inmate gets.
More from the report:
[L]ast week, Manhattan prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the second-highest law enforcement official in the country inquiring about Mr. Manafort’s case. The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, Attorney General William P. Barr’s new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York.
And then, on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in, telling the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Mr. Manafort, 70, would not be going to Rikers.
A senior Justice Department official said that the department believed Mr. Manafort’s treatment was appropriate, but several former and current prosecutors said the decision was highly unusual. Most federal inmates facing state charges are held on Rikers Island.
William Barr has made a joke of the Justice Department
There is no question that the criminal justice system in the United States was filled with bias before Donald Trump became president, particularly with respect to race and socioeconomic status.
But under William Barr, the Department of Justice – which exists to protect the rule of law in the U.S. – has become a complete joke. Its sole purpose is to act as the personal law firm for this corrupt president.
The decision to give special treatment to Paul Manafort may be unusual when compared to other federal inmates facing similar state charges, but it’s completely on par with other brazenly political decisions this DOJ has made in the Trump era.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.