Paul Manafort Released From Prison Citing Coronavirus Concerns
Paul Manafort's attorney Kevin Downing told CNN his client is slated to serve the rest of his term in-home confinement. Manafort has already served nearly a third of his sentence at a federal prison located in Western Pennsylvania. Serving a 7.5-year sentence, Manafort has been in jail since Jun. 2018 for bank and tax fraud, as well as foreign lobbying-related crimes.
The chances of coronavirus spreading rapidly among inmates across the country have left the Bureau of Prisons with no choice but to move nearly 2,500 inmates who are vulnerable to the disease to home confinement until now. This is likely to put a lid on the spread of the virus within its facilities. The prison where Manafort was living hasn't recorded confirmed cases.
Manafort's lawyers have urged prison officials to allow him to stay under home confinement either during the pandemic or for the four more years he is slated to spend behind bars. Last month, Downing wrote a letter to prison officials noting that the infection is likely to spread among staff and inmates at FCI Loretto, and it would be harder for them to prevent Mr. Manafort and other high-risk inmates from contracting the deadly virus.
The letter suggested that he could be transferred to a three-bedroom apartment in Northern Virginia, where his wife lives. Aside from that, the letter referred to multiple health problems including liver and respiratory issues the 71-year-old faces, and even outlined that he takes numerous medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol.
In 2018 and 2019, Manafort reported about his ongoing health problems in court, and showed up in a wheelchair for a gout-like issue in his foot, CNN Politics reported. Last year, he was hospitalized citing a heart condition, and earlier this year he had flu and bronchitis, Downing wrote.
Manafort, who once served as Trump's presidential campaign chairman was convicted by a jury of banking and tax-related crimes back in Aug. 2018 and then pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and conspiracy. A plea deal that was cut in Sept. 2018 saw Manafort admitting to money laundering, tax fraud as well as illegal foreign lobbying during the years he was working for Ukrainian politicians.
Aside from that, he admitted he was involved in defrauding banks to increase his income with cash via mortgages. Manafort agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office but lied during those interview sessions.