President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released from prison on Wednesday to serve out the rest of his 7-1/2 year term in home confinement due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Manafort's legal team last month asked the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to move 71-year-old Manafort from a federal prison in Cambria County, Pennsylvania to his Virginia home, saying his pre-existing health conditions increased his risk of complications from the highly contagious virus.
Manafort, one of several former Trump aides charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, was convicted in a jury trial in Virginia in August 2018 on charges including tax fraud and bank fraud, and then pleaded guilty in a separate case the following month in Washington to conspiracy charges.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr in March called on the Bureau of Prisons to expand its use of home confinement as the coronavirus continued to spread in federal prisons, sickening hundreds of inmates and staff and leading to a number of deaths amid the close quarters.
A number of other high-profile federal inmates have requested to be released from prison including Trump’s former campaign aide Rick Gates who pleaded guilty as part of Mueller's probe, and Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who has served less than one year of his three-year sentence.
A person close to Cohen and his family said they had no information about any plan to release him.