Just two weeks ago, Mark Caputo and Tucker Carlson were chatting about how our criminal justice system was being terribly unfair to Paul Manafort. The complaints were focused on the fact that Manafort was going to be transferred to Rikers Island prison to await trial on the charges he faces from New York state prosecutors.
Caputo and Carlson referred to Rikers Island as “one of the worst detention facilities in the world” and “the deepest darkest hole the United States has on the mainland.” Both of them used the word “torture” to describe what Manafort will face there. As I suggested at the time, neither one of them has gone on record in the past to complain about how the mostly poor and brown inmates are treated there.
In the week after that discussion took place, this happened:
Manhattan prosecutors were surprised to receive a letter from the second-highest law enforcement official in the country inquiring about Mr. Manafort’s case. The letter, from Jeffrey A. Rosen, Attorney General William P. Barr’s new top deputy, indicated that he was monitoring where Mr. Manafort would be held in New York.
And then, on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in, telling the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Mr. Manafort, 70, would not be going to Rikers…
Justice Department officials were unable to say who made the decision in Mr. Manafort’s case.
Due to a ruling issued by the Supreme Court on Monday, Trump might not be able to give his former campaign manager a “get out of jail free” card. But obviously the Justice Department can intervene to make his time served more comfortable.
Paul Manafort has two things going for him that most people in prison don’t: (1) he’s a rich white guy, and (2) he has friends in high places.