Former Trump campaign chairman
Manafort, 71, left a low-security prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and headed to his home in northern Virginia after requesting that the Bureau of Prisons release him for the remainder of his 7-1/2–year sentence. Since late March, at least 2,471 of 169,000 federal inmates have been released to home confinement.
Manafort’s wife and another family member picked him up at 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“He’s going home,” Downing said. “He’s doing OK. He didn’t get the virus, so that’s good.”
Manafort was convicted of financial crimes and illegal lobbying. His release came six days after Attorney General
While Trump has tweeted favorably about Manafort, he has lashed out at Cohen, calling him a “rat” for cooperating with federal prosecutors.
The Justice Department is releasing certain inmates, including non-violent white-collar criminals, to slow the spread of the coronavirus. In an April 3 memo, Barr cited the pandemic and said a broader swath of inmates should be considered, urging prison officials to prioritize vulnerable inmates.
Manafort fits that definition, according to his legal team. He takes 11 medications daily and suffers from high blood pressure, liver disease and respiratory ailments, according to an April 13 letter that Downing sent to the Bureau of Prisons director and the warden at FCI Loretto. Manafort was hospitalized for several days in December because of a heart condition and contracted bronchitis and influenza in February.
Manafort is at high risk from severe Covid-19 illness and was eligible for immediate transfer because he began a quarantine at the prison on March 30, Downing wrote in mid-April. “This will give him an opportunity to have a strong recovery,” Downing said Wednesday.
Manafort was the highest-profile figure to have been charged and convicted as part of Special Counsel
Before being tapped by the Trump campaign in early 2016, Manafort had spent more than a decade doing lucrative political consulting work for Ukrainian politicians who were aligned with the Kremlin. Manafort quit the campaign that August, after reports that he had accepted millions in cash payments from Ukraine’s former ruling party.
Manafort had already drawn the interest of federal prosecutors during 2016, but after Mueller was appointed in 2017, he became one of the special counsel’s prime targets.
Manafort was convicted by jurors in 2018 of tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to disclose a foreign bank account after prosecutors said he’d hid $55 million in offshore accounts and failed to pay $6 million in taxes. He avoided a second trial in Washington by pleading guilty to conspiracy counts involving witness tampering, money laundering and tax evasion.
Manafort’s release was reported earlier by ABC News.
(Updates with other inmates being released from federal prison)
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