Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted in August 2018 on eight charges of tax and bank fraud related to work conducted in Ukraine and sentenced to 7 1/2 months in prison, has been granted a release as the novel coronavirus spreads in prisons.
Manafort was released from a federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, early this morning. Manafort was slated to be released from prison in November 2024, according to the Bureau of Prisons, but will serve out the rest of his sentence in home confinement.
Manafort’s attorneys have in recent months cited Manafort’s reportedly failing health and requested that he be immediately transferred to home confinement because he is considered high-risk due to his age and preexisting conditions. Manafort, who takes multiple medications for various ailments, was hospitalized for several days in December due to a “cardiac event.”
“We write on behalf of our client to request that the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) immediately transfer Mr. Manafort to home confinement to serve the remainder of his sentence or, alternatively, for the duration of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with Attorney General William Barr’s directives to the BOP on March 26 and April 3, 2020, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), enacted on March 27, 2020,” attorneys Kevin Downing and Todd Blanche wrote in an April 13 letter obtained by ABC News.
Although Manafort has only served about 30 percent of his sentence, prison officials are given a wide berth in deciding whether to move inmates to home confinement. The Justice Department last month issued a clarification regarding home confinement policy for certain inmates after its conflicting messages sparked controversy.
“[Bureau of Prisons] is at this time prioritizing for consideration those inmates who either (1) have served 50% or more of their sentences, or (2) have 18 months or less remaining in their sentences and have served 25% or more of their sentences,” DOJ prosecutors wrote in a court filing in the Southern District of New York last month. “As BOP processes the inmates eligible for home confinement under these criteria and learns more about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on BOP facilities, it is assessing whether and how to otherwise priority consideration.”
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.