Serving Like The One Percent: Manafort Released From Prison Under Pandemic Order

ManafortFormer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is the latest high-profile inmate to be a beneficiary of the pandemic.  Manafort was released from prison today due to the danger of his contracting the virus. He will now be serving his 7.5 year sentence in the considerable luxury of his residence.  That is hardly hard time but Manafort, who is 71 with a history of liver and respiratory issues, is clearly a high-risk for a lethal exposure of the coronavirus.

The fact is that Manafort was given a 7.5 year sentence not a death sentence. This is an easy call for prison officials for an elderly nonviolent offender with a host of medical problems including respiratory issues.  However, for many, this is a windfall benefit for a man who spent his life flaunting his wealth and special privileges.  The idea of serving time in his luxury residence will be hard for many to swallow but it is not clear what the alternative would be.
Manafort will now benefit for any delay in a vaccine.  We are not expected to see a widely available vaccine until next year.  My guess is that Manafort will have a perfect record of incarceration in his luxury penthouse and will be in no rush to return.  Given his history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver problems, heart conditions, and respiratory issues, Manafort is the poster boy for a pandemic release.
As we previously discussed, Michael Cohen is also seeking release to his luxury residence to serve the remainder of his time.  Both men, known for their insatiable appetites and luxury consumption, could now serve the remainder of their time like the true one percenters.
What is interesting is that, if Michael Flynn’s case is dismissed and Manafort is out of jail, President Trump may not be inclined to grant any pardons before the election.

80 thoughts on “Serving Like The One Percent: Manafort Released From Prison Under Pandemic Order”

  1. Seeing a lot of the same folks demanding we stay locked down also use the economic problems from lockdowns to attack Trump. That seems politically opportunistic and it leads me to assume some have political motivations for their desire to stay locked down. @brandondarby

    Yup.

    1. Political motivations to keep the lock down going? Hmmmm. Dr. Tony Fauci comes top of mind.

      You know, the Dr. Fauci the libs have nominated to be People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.

      Ask yourself: why? Why would the libs do that? Wear t-shirts saying “Trust Fauci” and make him a sex symbol? Why on earth?

      Yep. You got it.

      1. Anonymous, you’re delusional. The libs in your head are basically more than half of America. That should tell you something: ‘You’re in the rightwing bubble’!!

  2. Judge In Michael Flynn Case Will Not Be Cowed By William Barr. Appoints Retired Judge To Explore Relevant Issues.

    The federal judge overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn appointed a hard-charging former prosecutor and judge on Wednesday to oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case and to explore a perjury charge against Mr. Flynn.

    Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s appointment of the former judge, John Gleeson, was an extraordinary move in a case with acute political overtones. Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

    Mr. Flynn later began fighting the charge and sought to withdraw his guilty plea. Then last week, the Justice Department abruptly moved to drop the charge after a long campaign by Mr. Trump and his supporters, prompting accusations that Attorney General William P. Barr had undermined the rule of law and further politicized the department.

    Judge Sullivan also asked Judge Gleeson to explore the possibility that by trying to withdraw his pleas, Mr. Flynn opened himself to perjury charges.

    The Justice Department declined to comment. Judge Gleeson did not respond to a request for comment. Judge Sullivan had said on Tuesday that he would consider briefs from outsiders known as amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” who opposed the government’s request to dismiss the case against Mr. Flynn.

    While judges do sometimes appoint such third parties to represent an interest they feel is not being heard in a case, Judge Sullivan’s move was highly unusual, said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Duke University.

    Judge Sullivan, he said, is essentially bringing in an outsider to represent the point of view of the original prosecutors, who believed Mr. Flynn had committed a crime before Mr. Barr intervened and essentially replaced them with a prosecutor willing to say he had not.

    Edited from: Judge Appoints Outsider To Take On Justice Department In Flynn Case”

    1. CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

      Judge Appointed To Look At Flynn Case, Part II

      Judge Gleeson, who served on the federal bench in Brooklyn and ran the criminal division in the federal prosecutor’s office there, has already made plain his skepticism of the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Flynn case. He co-wrote an op-ed article this week in The Washington Post urging Judge Sullivan to scrutinize it.

      “Prosecutors deserve a ‘presumption of regularity’ — the benefit of the doubt that they are acting honestly and following the rules,” he wrote along with two other former federal law enforcement officials in New York. “But when the facts suggest they have abused their power, that presumption fades.”

      The department made conflicting statements to the court, they wrote, saying that Judge Sullivan had the “authority, the tools and the obligation” to decide whether the motion to withdraw was credible.

      Today’s New York Times

  3. Just saw a report that Judge Gleeson recently wrote a WaPo article stating that the Flynn case isn’t over until the judge says its over. I haven’t read it, but it sounds like the type of person Judge Sullivan wants.

    It may be necessary once the radicals are out for Congress to tune up the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Courts a bit. They somehow seem to think they have more power than Charles I.

      1. Paul– This is an embarrassment for the United States Courts that offends almost everyone’s sense of decency and justice. I think the Court of Appeals is going to make the fat lady scream for mercy.

        If not, then what? Trump will not tip toe around the issue and he will carry most of the country with him.

        Sullivan is not looking very bright. He makes me think of the people who enter the cages at the zoo to pet the tigers. That always ends well.

        1. Young – it appears he wants to hold Flynn in contempt for perjury. Viable, but still a sore loser.

          1. See Andrew McCarthy’s assessment. Sullivan is bloviating, and has no choice but to dismiss the case. Another observer suggested that Flynn’s lawyer would apply for a writ of mandamus.

            1. Absurd– My first thought was to reach for a Writ of Prohibition. That is the writ traditionally used when a superior court commands an inferior court to stop what it is doing. I think that would be granted.

              As an aside, think how the ancient writs still have their uses. A writ of prohibition or writ of habeas corpus could probably be achieved by motion, but using the word ‘writ’ brings in ages of judicial experience and decisions. They still have value. I once used the writ of scire fascias as a descriptor on a motion to extend judgment and opposing counsel said that scire fascias had been abolished in Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 81(b). I agreed that it had but the remedy was still available by motion which was why I was making a motion rather than asking for a writ. But I wondered later if the writ had disappeared entirely if anyone would remember that there was a similar remedy available by motion. Still don’t know. I found the remedy by reading about scire facias, not motions. Just a thought. In any event, I think Writ of Prohibition for this one.

    1. Jonathan Turley
      @JonathanTurley
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      Judge Sullivan has now appointed a retired judge to look into “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.” Thus, the court is not only considering denying an uncontested motion for dismissal but…
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      Jonathan Turley
      @JonathanTurley
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      …but considering a new charge based on Flynn’s effort to withdraw his plea. Consider the implications for many cases where defendants seek to withdraw pleas due to prosecutorial abuse. It would create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants.
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      Jonathan Turley
      @JonathanTurley
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      Judge Sullivan was previously criticized for suggesting that Flynn could be charged with treason. He is now allowing third parties to make arguments in a criminal case on an unopposed motion. In addition, he is exploring a charge that he might be able to bring against Flynn…
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      Jonathan Turley
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      …These extraordinary moves by the court are increasingly discomforting. This is a single charge where significant jail time was neither warranted nor expected. The Court’s effort to import arguments and explore new charges could be raised on appeal given the prior record…
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      Mollie Retweeted

      Jonathan Turley
      @JonathanTurley
      …there comes a point where the Court appears too invested in the punishment of a defendant and too active in creating alternatives to dismissal. As a criminal defense attorney, I find these moves unnerving, particularly when prosecutorial abuse has been raised by DOJ and others
      8:36 PM · May 13, 2020·Twitter Web App

  4. Off topic. Where do male governors get their hair cut. Where do female governors go to have their hair done. And where does that leave the rest of us.

    1. Independent– They go where they like and it leaves us shaggy and criticized by CNN talking heads for being untidy.

      Question though, where did Fredo get his hair cut when he was in lock down? In his basement or out at his Long Island building site where he was harassing and threatening elderly bike riders?

      No haircuts for you!!

      1. Young – he might have had his wife do it. My wife used to do my hair until she got too busy, but I have a friend whose wife has been cutting his hair for over 50 years.

  5. Judge Sullivan has reportedly appointed a retired judge, John Gleeson, to argue against dismissing the Flynn complaint.

    I was wrong earlier when I said the judge can’t prosecute the case on his own. Apparently he believes he can.

    I suspect this clown show is not playing well in the Supreme Court. Sullivan is further staining the already besmirched and tattered reputation of the United States Courts.

    Act like politicians and expect to be treated like politicians. You won’t like it.

    1. Looking at his order it appears the judge also wants to consider holding Flynn in contempt for perjury. I guess, but do not know, that the ‘perjury’ was committed when he entered a guilty plea while submitting to DOJ threats to go after his family. He did the honorable thing that we would expect of such a man and sacrificed himself to protect his son from lawless thugs.

      If the Democrats lose the house I am going to beg my representative to impeach this judge.

      I wonder how these seemingly deranged antics are playing with the new leadership in the DOJ? It is an usurpation of their specific authority and an insult to their integrity.

    2. Young – two questions: 1) what is Gleeson’s background? and 2) what could possibly be the grounds? DoJ runs the prisons and they would not take Flynn on an illegal conviction.

      1. Paul– The report of Gleeson’s appointment just came up and I haven’t taken the time yet to check his background. But it wouldn’t make any difference if he were Chief Justice Marshall or, for that matter, Lord Coke resurrected; the appointment is improper. It is time for an emergency petition to a superior court to put the brakes on this fiasco before it does any more damage.

        I wondered in an earlier thread how the judge was going to swallow the ashes of his outrageous accusation that Flynn was a traitor. It was embarrassing then and contemptible now. How to get by that in the face of the motion to dismiss? I would apologize to the record, put it behind me, and do the very best I could to dismiss the charge as requested with as much decency and grace as I could muster to show that being an ass was only a temporary aberration and that I was really a better judge and better person in the end. This judge has chosen to amplify the earlier, uglier persona.

        At the very least this is very interesting.

        I have begun to wonder with all the ‘unmasking’ that has been exposed if any judges or justices got caught in their web. They certainly haven’t demonstrated any scruples about using any wicked device at hand.

        Uncertainties like this are very bad for our country.

          1. I think she will, too. And she should. She is a brilliant lawyer and this seems to be a judge who is wrong on law and wrong on politics and is making a much bigger stink than he realizes.

      2. Paul– The judge says he was acting on his ‘inherent authority’ to make the appointment. I think that that ‘inherent authority’ should be elucidated a bit more. There are undisputed ‘inherent’ powers understood to be a part of the judicial power authorized by Article III, but conducting any prosecution is fairly clearly within the ‘inherent authority’ of the executive, the DOJ and, ultimately, the President. I may be wrong but it seems this judge is wandering very far from what is right and proper and within his power.

        We will see.

        Next we will have judges declaring war on some country or other.

              1. Paul– Good thought. This time I think the Witchfinder General is going to meet a bigger and badder witch than he can handle.

        1. There’s no inherent authority to stop the government from halting a prosecution of an innocent man. Likewise, there’s no reason to persecute this guy any further. Bring on the pardon.

          1. mespo – I think Flynn is going to need a pardon because the Democrats are going to go after him. However, I think Sullivan needs a spanking from the appellate courts, immediately.

            1. PCS,

              Been tellin’ you for years the singular American failure has been the Supreme Court and the usurpation of power as “legislating from the bench.”

              The solicitation of an amicus brief in this criminal case is as blatant and obvious as a “spontaneous” “outbreak” from a fail-safe lab with multiple redundant security systems causing a pandemic in an election year.

              There are no coincidences and Oswald did not shoot JFK, Pearl Harbor was no surprise, 9/11 was a controlled demolition, the Gulf of Tonkin was a lie, Sirhan Sirhan was the front man for the shooter/security guard, etc., etc., etc.

              1. George – there are coincidences, Oswald did shoot JFK but there was another shooter, the only people not surprised at Pearl Harbor were the Japanese, one building might be a controlled demolition, agree on Sirhan Sirhan and Gulf of Tonkin.

                1. PCS, Read. Oswald was witnessed calmly consuming a soft drink in the break room at the time of the shooting. Roosevelt created Pearl Harbor, knew of the impending attack and kept that data from the Navy, and 3,295 Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth will educate you, if you choose education, at this link: https://www.ae911truth.org/

                  1. George – agree to disagree on Oswald. You need to read Gordon Prang on Pearl Harbor. 9/11 is one for, one against and one neutral.

                    1. PCS,

                      I think World War 33 got the per diem issued under Professor Turley’s “Civility Rule.”

                      Now about that room…

                  2. Oswald was witnessed calmly consuming a soft drink in the break room at the time of the shooting.

                    Yeah, in the movie Executive Action. It’s a movie, George, with a viewpoint its pushing.

              2. George,

                I want to be careful, but I think the “Judge” should throw himself on the mercy of the “Court”.

                Most of that other stuff I’m thinking, I think I have the Right to stfu & should use it, but it’s rough.

                I’ll be very interested in how this plays out & Prof Turley’s civility on this”Matter”.

          2. Mespo–I think they are trying to provoke a pardon so they can hammer Trump with it till November.

            Better if the judiciary be left to wallow in this pig slop and slime until they find the moral courage to wash themselves off.

            Left to their own flaws, the judiciary will only put on a show that will bring more votes for the President.

            These displays of arrogance, stupidity and unrestrained power are growing very tiresome.

  6. Manafort (R) – Guilty

    Craig (D) – Not Guilty

    Directly or peripherally, regarding the Obama Coup D’etat in America, no communist (liberal, progressive, socialist, democrat, RINO) will ever be convicted in D.C. or environs.

    “Greg Craig found not guilty in Ukraine lobbying case” 9/04/19
    _________________________________________________

    “The former Obama administration official was indicted in April for allegedly making false statements to investigators and withholding information about work related to Paul Manafort’s lobbying in 2012 on behalf of pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

    “Two jurors who spoke with reporters had a somewhat different take on Craig’s conduct than Taylor. They said the jury acquitted Craig because of what many would view as a technical issue.

    “Because of the statute of limitations applicable in the case, the judge told jurors that they could only find Craig guilty if prosecutors showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Craig concealed a material fact about his Ukraine work after Oct. 3, 2013. At least some jurors believed Craig had lied before that date, but they found a lack of proof he did so after that point, the two jurors said.

    “About three hours into deliberations Wednesday, the jury sent out a question asking the judge to explain why the indictment referred to a scheme stretching from June 2013 to January 2014, but they were told only to convict Craig if he took steps to conceal something material after Oct. 3, 2013.

    “Jackson called in the jurors and told them the date was dictated by “a legal issue which is outside the jury’s concern.”

    “Based on that very narrow thing, there wasn’t anything that warranted a finding of guilt during that period,” said Michael Meyer, 60. “It just wasn’t beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    “A key piece of evidence in the case was an Oct. 10, 2013, letter Craig wrote. Prosecutors said it contained at least two flat-out lies, but the defense argued the statements were technically true.

    “For instance, Craig said he’d only delivered the report to journalists who requested it. An email shown to the jury Sanger had asked for it, but only after Craig offered it to him.

    “Jurors appear to have seen those statements as successful evasions rather than outright falsehoods.

    “It was done in a very narrow, lawyerly way,” Meyer said of the letter.

    “Another juror, Willie Wilson, 28, said the jury began its work with about half the jurors thinking Craig was guilty.

    “It was relatively evenly split in the outset,” Wilson said. He added that jurors reached a consensus after the judge clarified the date issue. “We had to focus on the dates.”

    “There was a lot of very clever wording, but we just did not see it as enough to find him guilty,” Wilson added.

    “Wilson said he and others did believe Craig lied about his work on the Ukraine project, but it wasn’t clear he did so during the window critical to the case.

    “I was not of the opinion Greg Craig was a bad person, but he walked right up to the line and very well could have crossed it,” the juror said. “We think the evidence proved that he did lie prior to Oct. 3.”

    – The Hill

  7. There is a lot of opportunity for Trump corruption during the pandemic. I suspect when the dust has settled we will learn that Trump has intervened to get Manafort released because he tried not to implicate Trump, and Cohen will be kept in prison because he told the truth about Trump and plans to write a tell-all book.

    It is the tip of the iceberg, we will see all kinds of Trump supporters getting no bid contracts for a lot of money to deal with this or that, and a lot of money wasted but lost in the shuffle of so much money being spent so quickly.

  8. This is OK and Manafort should have never been tried in the first place, evidently the Justice Dept had past before but as soon as he was associated with Trump they went after him.

    I can’t wait to see what the Trump haters and MSM say about Manafort, if they disagree with the move then it will defeat their cry to let people out?

    Michael Cohen is still in jail. He must be upset. What about me he must be yelling from his country club jail??

  9. I’m not seeing the problem here. Why shouldn’t he get the same treatment other inmates get in response to the Covid19 virus? Is it because he’s a rich A-hole? Or is it because he had the misfortune to work for Trump for exactly three weeks? (Which is why he was targeted in the first place.)

  10. I don’t see any issues releasing someone like this — ESPECIALLY because serious offenders (that are threats to health, safety and property) are being released in other parts of US. If you’re going to concentrate on how comfy the released prisoners are, you should also concentrate on the risks to law-abiding citizens from those released that were serving for more serious offenses.

  11. He is 71 years old, serving time for money laundering and tax evasion. He’s just the sort of person you would release. (He’s actually in for associating with Donald Trump, btw).

    You need to isolate inmates over 60 and inmates over 50 with a high BMI, not anyone else. I doubt there are many people in those categories incarcerated anywhere. The median age of a state prisoner in New York is about 35 (in a population with no juveniles).

    It’s a reasonable inference that the COVID releases are being undertaken by officials who disapprove of punishment per se, in large measure because it involves deplorables imposing community standards on Democratic Party clients.

    1. Failure to distinguish BOP prisoners from DOC prisoners show a fundamental lack of knowledge of the US penal system.

    2. The merits of his prosecution aside, he was sent to PRISON. He should stay there absent some immediate illness, not a possibility of an illness.
      We can’t empty the prisons because someone might get ill.

      1. So, you are good with murderers and rapists getting out but not a money launderer?
        Such silliness.

  12. Trump will pardon Stone before the election.

    Soon enough, it will be common knowledge that “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” was all a set-up. Any convictions that came as a result of that illegal operation will be voided…that includes Manafort and Cohen.

  13. Did I miss the blog post where the professor was troubled by the release of violent felons — a number of them re-offending after their release?

    1. No, you didn’t miss it. Turley surely knows all about it, but he didn’t post a thing. I’m sure he’s feeling like he has to throw a bone to the left/establishment after his recent takedown of the Flynn prosecution and their backers.

    2. Or was he concerned about Michael Avenatti getting out?
      He defrauded a disable client and tried to extort $25 million from Nike.

  14. Biden seems to be on the prosecution band wagon, so he may want to pardon these guys if he loses.

  15. Pardon me Pence.
    That will be the round of calls when Pence wins the Presidential election this year.
    Trump’s wife has been trying to get him to retire and he has agreed. Pence has not been told yet but sort of expects it.
    The election call will be:. Mister Pence:. Build up that fence!

    1. Cohen is 53 and does not have a weight problem. There isn’t much reason to make special provisions for him.

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