NEW YORK CITY — Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, will be given no special treatment beyond measures needed for security when he is transferred to Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
“He is going to be treated, as much as humanly possible, like any other inmate, and would have the same rights and responsibilities,” de Blasio said at an unrelated press conference. “Obviously there are safety questions that have to be attended to.”
Manafort is currently serving a 7.5 year prison sentence in a Pennsylvania federal prison as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election. In August, he was convicted of a series of financial crimes and in September he pleaded guilty to another set of charges, including witness tampering.
However, earlier this year, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. obtained an indictment against Manafort on charges of mortgage fraud and a state judge has now ordered the longtime Republican lobbyist be moved as early as Thursday to Rikers Island, where he will be held in solitary confinement, according to a report by Fox News.
While Trump has the ability to issue pardons for federal crimes, several reports noted that this power does not extend to state infractions.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Vance said in a March statement.
Rikers is mainly used to house pre-trial detainees. However, the outdated facility has become a hive of violence, and its isolated location near LaGuardia Airport makes it difficult to transfer inmates to county courthouses around the city, often delaying trial times.
The city is currently planning to close the facility by 2026 and replace it with modern jails in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn.