A New York State Judge ordered that former Trump campaign advisor Paul Manafort, who is currently serving time in Pennsylvania on white collar charges, be moved to the famously brutal Riker’s Island prison in New York.
Legal experts were shocked by the move, and many questioned whether the action was meant to punish someone Democratic politicians view as an enemy. As Fox News reports:
Fox News reported earlier this week that Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, is being transferred from a federal prison to New York City’s Rikers Island, notorious for gang violence and housing some of the most infamous violent offenders. A state judge ordered the transfer at the request of New York City District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., who is pursuing a case against Manafort involving alleged residential mortgage fraud, falsified business records and more.
“It is yet another example of the weaponization of the criminal process for partisan advantage,” defense attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News. The Harvard Law professor emeritus speculated that Manhattan prosecutors are intentionally putting Manafort in tough conditions in order to prod him to work with them as state officials investigate President Trump.
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., whose district includes Rikers, blasted the idea of keeping Manafort in solitary, as was reported.
“A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is,” Ocasio Cortez tweeted Wednesday. “Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary.”
Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district – Rikers Island.
A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is.
Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary. https://t.co/9rERLDSzrD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
Whatever one thinks of Manafort himself, does he really belong in the company of murders and rapists?