President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will reportedly not be transferred to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City after Justice Department officials intervened to stop the move.
The New York Times reports Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors last week and that federal prison officials formally told the Manhattan district attorney's office on Monday that Manafort would no longer be moved to Rikers. Previous reports had indicated Manafort would be transferred and kept in solitary confinement.
Manafort pleaded guilty in September to federal conspiracy charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. The charges stemmed from Manafort's lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and not from special counsel Robert Mueller's core focus on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
In March, the Manhattan district attorney announced another indictment, charging Manafort with 16 state felonies, including residential mortgage fraud. He is still awaiting trial on the new indictments.
Top Justice Department officials characterized the deputy attorney general's intervention as highly unusual but maintained to the Times that it was not inappropriate. State prosecutors and former Justice Department officials also told the Times they found it surprising the second-highest law enforcement official in the country would take interest in Manafort's prison location.
President Trump has the power to issue pardons for federal crimes, but this authority doesn't apply to state-level cases. Trump has not said he will pardon Manafort but has praised him and lamented his sentencing earlier this year.
"I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it's a very, very tough time for him," he told reporters at the White House in March.
The Hill, June 17, 2019
June 18, 2019
Voices4America Post Script. So now the Justice Department admits it exists only to serve Trump and his criminal allies. This is very sad. #ImpeachmentNow
By the way, post Trial, Manafort is no longer in a wheel cahir