Manafort Update: Being Treated Worse Than Gitmo Detainees?
However, according to a new court filing his attorney submitted to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the onetime Trump campaign manager simply isn't behind bars – he's in solitary confinement. (Law&Crime)
“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,” Manafort’s attorney Frank P. Cihlar wrote. This confirms a previous claim from President Donald Trump‘s former attorney John Dowd, who said in June that Manafort was in solitary.
So why would someone like Manafort, who isn’t exactly accused of violent or dangerous crimes, be in solitary confinement? Law&Crime asked several criminal attorneys for their take on the issue, and if Manafort’s situation is normal.
Former federal prosecutor Henry Hockeimer said that this “certainly puts pressure on Manafort to work out a deal.” While he acknowledged that there could be a safety concern under the presupposition that other people in the prison know who Manafort is and would want to hurt him, this sort of thing is “not typical for the pre-trial detention of a white collar defendant.” At the same time, Hockeimer recognized, “alleged tampering with witnesses prior to trial also isn’t typical.”
Others with expertise in this area disagree.
“Yes it’s normal, when someone like him can’t be in “gen pop” (general population) due to a separation order for safety,” white collar defense attorney and Law&Crime trial analyst Caroline Polisi said. “Prisons are so understaffed that there is just no way they could otherwise guarantee his safety if he were allowed to access the public areas of the facility, given the high profile nature of his case. … He’s not getting anything special just because he’s Paul Manafort. This is the way they’d do it for anyone else if they felt his safety was in question.”
Despite the psychological pressure that solitary confinement puts on an individual, Manafort has held strong thus far.