President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is requesting early release from prison amid the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reported Tuesday.
Citing “high risk of contracting COVID-19,” Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons in a letter on Monday to release his client and let him serve the remainder of his 7-and-a-half year sentence at home.
Downing also cited Manafort’s pre-existing health conditions, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Politico.
While there are no reported COVID-19 cases at the facility at this time, Downing said it is “only a matter of time” before the novel coronavirus spreads at the federal prison in Loretto, Pa. where Manafort is serving his term on charges of tax evasion, failing to report foreign bank accounts, witness tampering and engaging in unregistered lobbying for foreign interests.
“It is only a matter of time before the infection spreads to staff and inmates at FCI Loretto, at which time it may be too late to prevent high-risk inmates, such as Mr. Manafort, from contracting the potentially deadly virus,” Downing wrote.
Manafort has been in jail since June 2018. He is set to be released in November 2024, according to the report.