President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, will not be transferred to the Rikers Island prison after top Justice Department officials intervened to block the move, The New York Times reported late Monday.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors last week and on Monday informed the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Manafort would not be moved to the notorious prison, according to the Times.
Instead, Manafort could remain at a federal facility own Loretto, Pennsylvania, or the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while he awaits trial in New York on state charges, the paper said. The Times also reported Manafort was transferred to the Manhattan facility on Monday, a sign that his arraignment is near.
Justice Department officials told the Times that the intervention was unusual, but not inappropriate. Judges and prosecutors, however, said it was surprising that Mr. Rosen would involve himself in the Manafort case, according to the paper.
In March, Manafort was sentenced to a 7 1/2-year prison term on a host of federal charges, including conspiracy and financial fraud. Within minutes of being sentenced by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance slapped Manafort with 16 state felonies, including mortgage fraud.
The move was an attempt to block Mr. Trump from pardoning Manafort on federal charges because presidential pardons do not apply to state crimes. Although Mr. Trump has not said he would pardon Manafort, he has praised his former campaign chairman.
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