Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being made an example of.
According to FOX News, New York City District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., requested a New York State judge to order Manfort, 69, transferred to Rikers Island. That judge has so ordered.
Rikers Island is where they send high-profile violent offenders like serial killers and mob bosses. The “Son Of Sam” killer, David Berkowitz, was sent there, as well as Mark David Chapman, John Lennon’s killer. This seems to have come about because a New York grand jury charged Manafort in March with additional financial crimes. (Charged, not convicted, as Manafort has not yet had a trial.) Vance, a Democrat, said at that time that “no one is beyond the law in New York.”
If Manafort is found guilty of these crimes, the President cannot pardon him or commute his sentence, as these are state offenses.
I would really like to hear what U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis has to say about this. He presided over the original federal case that arose out of the special counsel investigation, and from what he said at the time, he knew that the charges against Manafort had nothing to do with Russian election interference and that the sentence was excessive.
Recall also that Manafort was held in solitary confinement for months, while awaiting trial and even during the trial. According to some news reports, he wasn’t even allowed a magazine.
I assume (but am not sure) that in the minimum-security prison in Pennsylvania where he’s currently serving time, he has been housed among the general population. In the famously rough environment of Riker’s Island, he’ll be –- you guess it –-- held in solitary.
“For his own protection.”
If Manafort did commit financial crimes, he should pay for that. But this price is far too high, and it’s almost certainly due to the fact that he DARED help Trump get elected. He is now a broken, ruined man, selectively prosecuted, an example of what can happen when you’re caught in the “crossfire” of the effort to bring down President Trump.
UPDATE: After the story broke about Paul Manafort being transferred to Rikers Island to await trial on state charges, Dan Bongino said in his Tuesday podcast that some on the left were ecstatic about this and had actually been celebrating. If this is true --- and I haven’t known Bongino to be wrong ---- then it simply proves the worst of what anyone says about leftist ideologues: that you are horrible people who don’t care WHAT happens to civil liberties in America if you can go after your political enemies and destroy them.
There should be outrage over this travesty of justice, from both sides of the aisle. In fact, I agree with Bongino that if there is not outrage and this doesn’t change, we have lost our country.
There was no legitimate reason to do this to a 70-year-old man in poor health who poses no threat but has committed some financial crimes, and it can happen only under a thoroughly corrupt system, which apparently describes New York. Rikers is filled with, as Bongino calls them, “the worst of the worst of the worst” violent offenders, the most dangerous of all: serial killers, child killers, mobsters, rapists, gang leaders. It’s a nightmarish place. Manafort is already a broken man, emotionally and physically, and he will likely die miserably and alone --- perhaps even be killed --- in there.
My thought is that this was an “in your face” move designed to underscore the fact that Trump can’t do anything to stop the attorneys and judges of New York, since these new charges are for state crimes and the state of New York is not answerable to the President on this. Note that Manafort was already being held in prison when these new charges came down and that he has not yet been tried for them, only charged.
Hey, why not charge him with murder and go ahead and kill him now? No need for a trial. The end for him would be the same. Sure, New York abolished the death penalty in 2007, but they’ve abolished and reinstated it several times in their history. Trump-haters would probably love to bring it back just for this poor man, and they’d cheer his death. Oh, well, he’s pretty much on Death Row, anyway.
You know, if Democrats are so concerned about Russia, they should be aware that this shameful treatment of an accused man is like something that would have happened in the USSR. The only difference is that we would never have heard about it.
In related news, the New York state legislature just showed its tender side, by voting to become the first state in the nation to ban cat declawing.