Paul Manafort Released From Prison Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, imprisoned on convictions including bank fraud and filing false tax documents, has been released due to health concerns that would complicate a COVID-19 infection. He was serving a 7.5-year sentence, which he will complete in home confinement.

paul manafort released from prison
[Photo credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Manafort’s final conviction came down in March 2019, Washington Post reports, bringing his total sentencing time to 90 months — seven and a half years. He had already spent nine months in confinement at that time, due to allegations of witness tampering, so as of his release he would have served slightly less than two years of that total.

Politico reported Wednesday morning that two people with knowledge of Manafort’s situation had, on conditions of anonymity, said that Manafort is suffering heart health issues. He’s also 71 years old. His age and the purported heart condition are both risk factors for complications that increase the severity of illness from coronavirus infection.

Trump responded to Manafort’s conviction in 2018, saying that the former campaign manager was only facing charges for these crimes in hopes that he would, in hopes of a plea bargain, give evidence on allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election results.

Trump also asserted that Manafort had been treated worse than Al Capone, and that the failure to convict on ten additional charges was evidence of a ‘witch hunt.’

In Manafort’s first sentencing, Judge Ellis, according to NPR, handed down a 47-month sentence where guidelines called for 19 to 24 years, saying that the recommendations were excessive. In the second, Judge Jackson described Manafort as “not exactly public enemy number one” but also not an innocent victim.

Manafort isn’t the only offender being released to home confinement. Attorney General William Barr issued guidance to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on April 3rd to review case files of inmates and move those eligible (those at higher risk for COVID-19 complications, but who are deemed to pose little or no risk to society by being released) into confinement in their homes. At this time, the Bureau reports over 3,000 positive tests for the virus among inmates and staff, and fifty deaths.

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