'Highly Unusual': DOJ Steps in to Stop Manafort's Move to Rikers

Ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort transferred to notorious Manhattan jail that houses El Chapo

Ex-Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort transferred to notorious Manhattan jail that houses El Chapo

Last week, Manafort's lawyer said he would seek to dismiss the state charges on double jeopardy grounds, which prevent someone from being prosecuted twice for the same act.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, the Justice Department's new No. 2 under Attorney General William Barr, sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors telling them he was monitoring Manafort's case, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Manafort had been at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania since he was sentenced in March to 7-1/2 years behind bars on tax fraud, bank fraud and other charges that stemmed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 USA election.

Manafort is expected to await his trial at a federal detention center in Manhattan or at the low-security facility in Pennsylvania, where he is now serving a 7.5 year sentence for crimes, including federal bank fraud, tax and conspiracy.

On Monday, word came down that Manafort would not be going to Rikers, unlike most federal inmates facing state charges.

Several former Obama-era federal prosecutors raised issue with the high-level DOJ intervention, noting it ran counter to typical rules governing detention for federal inmates facing state charges in NY. On Tuesday, The Bureau of Prisons' website showed Manafort was there.

But Manafort's lawyers reached out to the federal Bureau of Prisons and raised concerns that his health and safety could be threatened if he was transferred to Rikers Island, the Justice Department official said. "This arrangement will not have any impact on his state proceedings".

The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, Attorney General William P. Barr's new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in NY.

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DA Vance responded to a letter from Blanche saying state prosecutors had no position on whether Manafort was held at Rikers, but that keeping him in Pennsylvania wasn't an option under the law.

"Rikers Island sounds like a punitive measure", Giuliani said.

Rosen attached Blanche's letter in a message to Vance, asking "if your office has a response or would otherwise like to comment". He won't be arraigned Tuesday, a person familiar with his case said, but Manafort could appear in court in the coming days.

"The Department requested the views of NY prosecutors, who did not object to Mr. Manafort's proposal".

"The agreement to keep Manafort in federal custody while he is being prosecuted in the state is, in my experience, unusual", Riopelle said, though he added that it also was unusual to have dual prosecutions like Manafort's.

Rosen's intervention was just the latest development in the case of Manafort, whose campaign work for Trump and long history of working as a political consultant in Ukraine put him in the center of a almost two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow and whether the president obstructed justice.

President Trump's unconventional use of the pardon power suggested to NY lawmakers that he could seek to pardon Manafort in connection with the Russian Federation probe, a move that the state legislature sought to preempt by carving out prosecution exemptions for individuals connected to the presidency who have received pardons for federal crimes.

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