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Paul Manafort to Complete Personal Journey from Trump Tower to Rikers. Reportedly.

The Manhattan DA wanted to ensure Manafort would still face prison time if Trump pardoned him

by Emma Ockerman
Jun 4 2019, 2:48pm

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Paul Manafort is reportedly heading to Rikers Island.

At the request of New York City District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., Manafort will be transferred to the infamous prison facility — which criminal justice advocates have long fought to close — as soon as Thursday, anonymous sources told both Fox News and the New York Times. He’s been held in a minimum security facility in western Pennsylvania since April. Once processed into Rikers, Manafort will be held in solitary confinement, which is reportedly not unusual for high-profile inmates placed under guard in the New York network of nine jails.

After his August conviction, the former head of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was sentenced to more than 7 years in prison in March for a bevy of crimes, including bank fraud, tax crimes, witness tampering, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was also the first Trump campaign associate found guilty in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the 2016 election.

Then Manhattan DA Vance tacked on a 16-count indictment for state mortgage fraud charges, which would ensure Manafort still face prison time if Trump pardoned him for federal crimes, as he seemed to be signaling. According to Fox News, Vance was the one to request that Manafort be transferred to Rikers. Vance’s office has not yet responded to a VICE News request for comment.

“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said in a statement about the Manafort indictment in March.

Manafort’s lawyers are planning to appeal the Rikers Island transfer, according to Fox News. Manafort would likely be housed in a former prison hospital, where many high-profile detainees and celebrities are held, according to the New York Times. In April, Steve Martin, a prison expert who was appointed to oversee New York City’s jails, said in April that Rikers staff has been using more force despite the overall jail population declining.

Cover: Paul Manafort arrives at federal court, Friday, June 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)