Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, was slated to await his next trial from Rikers Island, a New York jail complex infamous for violence and inmate abuse. Then, Attorney General William Barr’s newly minted top deputy came calling.
According to the New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen, who was confirmed as deputy attorney general on May 16, told Manhattan prosecutors that he was monitoring where Manafort was being held. Shortly after, prison officials announced that he would not be transferred to Rikers, but would wait for his next trial in a Manhattan facility or a Pennsylvania federal prison.
Prosecutors told the Times that the intercession was highly unusual, as most federal inmates facing state charges are held on Rikers. They also said that the decision is usually left to the discretion of the warden running the prison where the inmate is held.
Rosen intervened just days after Todd Blanche, one of Manafort’s lawyers, asked the Bureau of Prisons to keep Manafort out of Rikers.