The New York Times reports:
Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a federal prison sentence, had been expected to be transferred to the notorious Rikers Island jail complex this month to await trial on a separate state case. But last week, Manhattan prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the second-highest law enforcement official in the country inquiring about Mr. Manafort’s case.
Instead, he will await his trial at a federal lockup in Manhattan or at the Pennsylvania federal prison where he is serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for wide-ranging financial schemes. A senior Justice Department official said that the department believed Mr. Manafort’s treatment was appropriate, but several former and current prosecutors said the decision was highly unusual. Most federal inmates facing state charges are held on Rikers Island.
Calling this highly unusual doesn’t even begin to capture how strange it is for the no. 2 official at DOJ to intervene in a state custody issue. https://t.co/oX8gXwPVs4
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 17, 2019
It is very unusual – perhaps entirely unprecedented – for such a high-ranking DOJ official to be involved in the specific prison designation for a particular inmate. Anyone else in this situation goes to Rikers and that’s that.https://t.co/wtHrP66hCp
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) June 18, 2019
Fascinating. Manaforts own lawyer suggests that DOJ intervention in Manafort jail location decision was an effort to protect Manafort from charges he faces in New York State. https://t.co/ulmGwGJApK
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) June 18, 2019