Tuesday, June 4, 2019

UPDATED: Manafort To Be Sent Back To Solitary--At Rikers Island

Fox News is reporting that sources close to Manafort say he will be sent from a minimum security prison in Pennsylvania--where he's serving a 7-1/2 year sentence for bank fraud and tax evasion--to New York's Riker's Island prison comples. There he'll be held in solitary confinement "for his own protection". Riker's island has become notorious for violence and corruption. According to Fox:

Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was sentenced earlier this year to nearly seven years in prison in connection with two federal cases, will be transferred later this week from a minimum security facility in Pennsylvania to New York City’s Rikers Island, a source close to Manafort told Fox News. 
Rikers Island is the famous jail in the shadow of LaGuardia Airport. It has been the temporary home of some of the most high-profile violent criminals in the city, including  David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam; and Mark David Chapman, the man who killed John Lennon. 
"He’s not a mob boss," the source close to Manafort said. 
A New York State judge ordered the transfer at the request of New York City District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. He will be held in solitary confinement for his own protection, the source said. The move is expected to happen as early as Thursday. 
Vance, a Democrat, said in March that a New York grand jury charged Manafort with 16 counts including residential mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and other charges. He said at the time that “no one is beyond the law in New York.” Manafort cannot be pardoned by President Trump for state crimes. 
Vance’s office did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News late Monday. Manafort’s defense team is planning an appeal, according to the source.

Is this pure sadism, or does Vance think that he can break Manafort and get him to lie about Trump?

UPDATE 1: Commenter Brad Crawford asks whether the US Government has a say in Manafort's transfer to state custody. The answer is: Yes. I'll paste in below some information that I gleaned from the US Marshal's Service (USMS) site. Basically, the state has to file a writ for habeas corpus ad prosequendum. However, compliance with the writ is not automatic; rather, it's discretionary with the USMS. One ground that Manafort's appeal will likely cite is his medical condition, which cannot but be adversely affected by solitary confinement:

Writs of Habeas Corpus & Special Requests for Production
In 1981, the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Justice issued a ruling on the transfer of federal prisoners to the physical custody of a state or local agency for production in a state or local court pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum or ad testificandum. ... 
Federal prisoners in USMS custody may lawfully be transferred to the custody of a state or local government pursuant to a state writ of ad prosequendum (see 28 USC 2241).  The transfer of federal prisoners under the provisions of this section are intended to expedite local prosecutions at reduced costs to local, state and federal agencies. ...
Discretion in Honoring Writs:  The U.S. Marshal is not required to honor a request for a federal prisoner in his or her custody pursuant to a state or local writ. Generally, the writ is not honored until the completion of the prisoner’s sentencing. In honoring a state or local writ, the USM will exercise discretion when a prisoner is a protected witness, has medical problems, or is a high security risk.

UPDATE 2: Via Zerohedge--I briefly examined the law in question, and it is the one referenced (without citation) by the USMS, including the exercise of discretion re medicals problems:

Federal officials agreed to honor the writ for Manafort under something called the Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act, a federal law that governs transfers of prisoners between states when they are facing unrelated charges in different jurisdictions.
Remember, Manafort was confined to a wheelchair during part of his trial in Virginia, and his lawyers have claimed that he is in consistently poor health.


  1. Do you have any idea, Mark, if USG can have any say in any of this? Manafort is their prisoner, after all.

    1. Brad, I'll update to show what I've come up with.

  2. I think this is a message to any with the temerity to provide aid and comfort to Orange Man. There will be neither respite nor safety, not even in a cell. Retribution, to an authoritarian, can never be too petty.

    1. I believe I recall correctly that NY officials specifically said they were pursuing prosecution against Manafort so that Trump couldn't pardon him (no Presidential pardon on state convictions).

  3. Manafort has a civil rights case to file in this regard. By admitting the motive for the prosecution, the prosecutors have all but conceded that it is a civil rights violation.

    1. Probably not, as long as there's a real case.

    2. I'm not a lawyer so remember that when reading my comments. I agree with Yancey. Deliberately changing NY state law openly and saying it's go that they can "get" Manafort seems pretty dubious to me.

      To send the man to the prison in Riker's Island is the lowest of the low. I don't defend Manafort against the laws that he broke. At 69 years old and in failing health, he does not need to be put into solitary confinement in a prison with some of the worst of the worst. He is not a violent man. What a flagrant abuse of power.

    3. We'll have to see how the appeal goes.

  4. Obviously, Paul Manafort did not have any dirt about Donald Trump that he could exchange for any leniency.

  5. This is a case of the Deep State throwing everything they've got against the wall in the hope of coercing Trump/Barr into canceling declassification and potential prosecution of the coup conspirators. The gambit here is to implicitly threaten Manafort's life by putting him into a dire set of circumstances (a similar tactic is being used against Julian Assange as well). The Deep State plays for keeps and gambling with other people's lives is just part of the battle as far as they are concerned. The closer we get to declassification, the more extreme will be their tactics. Beware the false flag and Black Swan maneuver, which could take things to a whole new level.

  6. Someone needs to investigate Cy Vance! I wonder if Podesta will be going to Rykers? This is Attempted Murder!