Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his 7½-year sentence in home confinement amid fears about the spread of the coronavirus, NBC News reported.
Manafort was released from a federal correctional institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, early Wednesday morning, a source familiar with the case told NBC.
Manafort, 71, had been sentenced in 2019 to charges brought as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian election meddling, potential Kremlin coordination with the Trump campaign and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump himself.
Lawyers for Manafort did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment. The Bureau of Prisons did not immediately confirm that Manafort had been released from FCI Loretto.
Manafort was slated to be released from prison in November 2024, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
But the coronavirus pandemic has swept through America’s prisons, infecting hundreds of inmates and guards and prompting many inmates to ask for early release out of concern for their safety.
Other high-profile inmates have asked to be released to home confinement. Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, 53, had reportedly been told he would be released from a federal prison camp in upstate New York. But that promise to Cohen was rescinded in early May, people familiar with the situation told CNBC.
The reversal came shortly after a Trump Organization lawyer issued Cohen, a former Trump ally turned critic, a warning not to publish a reported “tell-all” book ahead of the 2020 election. The White House said that it had “absolutely not” interfered in the decision to delay Cohen’s planned early release.
More than a dozen inmates and staff at Cohen’s prison in Otisville, New York, have previously tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Bureau of Prisons. At the time this article was published, only one active case at the Otisville facility was listed on the BOP website.
In contrast, the BOP says there are no known cases of coronavirus at FCI Loretto, where Manafort was serving his sentence.