Paul Manafort, the former head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign who was later convicted in Russia’s special investigation of interference in the election, was released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in house arrest due to the coronavirus, he said. your attorney on Wednesday.
Manafort, 71, left FCI Loretto, a low-security prison in Pennsylvania, on Wednesday morning, according to attorney Todd Blanche. Manafort was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.
His lawyers asked the Bureau of Prisons to give him house arrest, arguing that he was at high risk for coronavirus due to his age and pre-existing health conditions. Manafort was hospitalized in December after suffering heart problems, two people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press at the time. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.RELATED
Manafort was one of the first people charged in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who examined the possibility of coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 elections.
Manafort, tried in two federal courts, was convicted in Virginia in 2018 and later pleaded guilty in Washington. He was sentenced in March last year and immediately charged with state charges in New York that left him out of a presidential pardon. Prosecutors in New York accused him of giving false information on an application for a home loan.
His release came at a time when prison rights activists and congressional leaders have been lobbying the Justice Department for weeks to release prisoners to prevent outbreaks in prison. They argue that the public health guideline of maintaining an interpersonal distance of 1.8 meters (6 feet) is almost impossible behind bars.
Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons in March and April to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of high-risk prisoners, starting with three prisons identified as outbreaks of coronavirus. There are no confirmed cases of the virus in FCI Loretto.