President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will not be transferred to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City after Justice Department officials intervened to stop the move, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Previous reports had indicated Manafort would be transferred to the jail and kept in solitary confinement.
According to the Times, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors last week and federal prison officials formally told the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday that Manafort would no longer be moved to Rikers.
Manafort is expected to remain in prison in Pennsylvania, where he is serving a 7 ½-year sentence, but that he could be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while awaiting trial, reports the newspaper.
Several top Justice Department officials characterized the deputy attorney general’s intervention as “highly unusual.”
The Times notes that “most federal inmates facing state charges are held on Rikers Island.”
State prosecutors and former Justice Department officials also told the newspaper that they found it surprising the second-highest law enforcement official in the country would take interest in Manafort’s prison location.
The Hill adds:
Manafort pleaded guilty in September to federal conspiracy charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. The charges stemmed from Manafort’s lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and not from special counsel Robert Mueller’s core focus on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.
In March, the Manhattan district attorney announced another indictment, charging Manafort with 16 state felonies, including residential mortgage fraud. He is still awaiting trial on the new indictments.