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Paul Manafort Seeks Early Prison Release Due To Coronavirus Concerns

​Manafort's lawyers argue their client "is at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 ... due to his age and pre-existing health conditions."
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 14, 2020

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is seeking an early release from prison over fears that he may catch the coronavirus behind bars.

In a letter sent to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Monday, Manafort's lawyers argue their client "is at a high risk of contracting COVID-19 ... due to his age and pre-existing health conditions." They wrote the 71-year-old has "high blood pressure, liver disease, and respiratory ailments," and has been under quarantine since March 30. Given his circumstances, his lawyers say Manafort is eligible for home confinement under a memorandum issued by Attorney General William Barr earlier this month.

Manafort's team asked that he be released to his home in Virginia to serve the rest of his seven-and-a-half-year sentence, or at the very least for the duration of the pandemic. They pointed out that he's serving time for nonviolent offenses and said he "has been a model inmate" who would not pose a threat to public safety.

Although the prison holding Manafort has no reported cases of the coronavirus so far, his lawyers say "it is only a matter of time" before that changes, "given the growing number of cases in Pennsylvania and increasing challenges in testing inmates and staff potentially exposed to COVID-19."

Contains footage from CNN.