On July 26, 2017, under the direction of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, FBI agents ransacked the home of former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort in a pre-dawn raid.
In late June, Manafort retroactively registered with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for his political consulting work for a Ukrainian political party. Earlier that month, the Associated Press reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had taken over a criminal probe involving Manafort.
It’s been reported that the agents checked Mr. Manafort and wife Kathleen for guns as they broke into the Alexandria condo pre-dawn by picking the lock.
A source familiar with the case told The Washington Times the search was even more intrusive: An agent patted down Mrs. Manafort before she was allowed to get out of bed.
CBS News reported on the no-knock raid on Manafort’s personal residence, admitting confusion over the FBI’s tactics considering it was reported that Manafort was cooperating with the federal agents. CBS Justice Reporter Paula Reid seemed dismissive of Manafort’s cooperation, saying that perhaps he wasn’t cooperating “fully,” and that the raid will send a message to others on Trump’s team. Reid claimed the message to Manafort and to other Trump associates by the FBI is, “We are proceeding and we’re not going to rely on Congress for this.”
Shortly after his arrest, it was discovered that the 69-year-old was being held at the Northern Neck Region Jail, where he was being housed in solitary confinement.
“Mr. Manafort, moreover, is now housed in solitary confinement because the facility cannot otherwise guarantee his safety. He is locked in his cell for at least 23 hours per day (excluding visits from his attorneys), at a facility approximately two hours from his legal team,” his lawyers wrote.
On June 15, 2018, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, lashed out at U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson for revoking Manafort’s bail and placing him in jail before his trial, calling it “obnoxious to the Constitution.” During an MSNBC interview, Dershowitz warned, “He has never been convicted of anything. He is as innocent as you and I. And the idea of locking somebody up before a trial is so obnoxious to our Constitution that every civil libertarian should be up in arms. What they can do if they think that he’s tampering with witnesses is: they can subject him to home arrest, take away his computer … they can have all kinds of restrictions, but the idea of putting somebody in jail before they’ve been convicted is an enactment of civil liberties.”
On June 15, 2018, President Trump spoke out on Paul Manafort’s “tough” prison sentence. Trump added: Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!”
In March 2019, Manafort was sentenced to a total of 90 months — or 7.5 years — in two separate cases involving tax and bank fraud and related charges.
Defense attorneys for Manafort have suggested that Mueller’s team had improperly ensnared their client in its probe, as the case did not have anything to do with Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Today, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was transferred to home confinement after he requested release because of the threat COVID-19 poses to his health, his lawyer, Kevin Downing, confirmed to CBS News.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) May 13, 2020
CBS News was told that early Wednesday morning two family members including his wife picked up Manafort at FCI Loretto, the low-security federal prison in Pennsylvania where he has been serving his term.
On April 13, his attorneys, Todd Blanche and Downing, wrote a letter to the director of the Bureau of Prisons and the warden at Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Loretto to request the immediate transfer to home confinement “to serve the remainder of his sentence or, alternatively, for the duration of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.”
Manafort’s lawyers pointed out that he is 71 years old and suffers from a number of maladies, including “high blood pressure, liver disease, and respiratory ailments.” In the letter, first obtained by CBS News, the lawyers noted that he was hospitalized for several days in December for a heart condition, and in February, that he became ill with influenza and bronchitis.
They added that Manafort “currently takes 11 prescription medications daily to treat his various health conditions, 8 of which are relevant to the requested relief.” His lawyers said that the medications, along with his health history, “make plain that Mr. Manafort is at a significantly higher risk for serious illness or death.”