Paul Manafort Released From Prison Amid Pandemic
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman who is serving a 7.5-year prison sentence for a slew of crimes, including tax and bank fraud and conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice, is all set to serve out the rest of his lenient sentence in home confinement, CNN reports.

According to the report, Manafort was released from prison on Wednesday, following a push to get him out of a federal prison in Western Pennsylvania amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit prisons and jails hard, due to the inability to properly social distance, general overcrowding and other issues with health and hygiene that impact the prison system.

Manafort, who has been in jail since June 2018, has served about a third of his sentence already. The prison where Manafort was being held currently has no confirmed cases, according to CNN, however, the Bureau of Prisons has been moving inmates with coronavirus risk (almost 2,500 inmates so far) to home confinement in order to curb the spread of the virus.

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“It is only a matter of time before the infection spreads to staff and inmates at FCI Loretto, at which time it may be too late to prevent high-risk inmates, such as Mr. Manafort, from contracting the potentially deadly virus,” one of Manafort’s lawyers wrote to prison officials in a plea last month to get his client released to home confinement.

Last March, Manafort was sentenced to a cumulative 7.5 years in prison relating to a fraud case in Virginia, and a conspiracy case in Washington, DC. The leniency granted in the Virginia case which under normal sentencing guidelines should have racked up a 19-24-year prison term for the tax and bank fraud convictions drew swift criticism from lawmakers, journalists, and lawyers alike after Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison.

In the DC case, Manafort was sentenced to an additional three and a half years in prison for charges of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice.