June 7, 2019

Since writing about the ruling to transfer Paul Manafort from a minimum-security federal prison for nonviolent offenders in Pennsylvania to the notorious Rikers Island state prison in New York, I’ve received many responses from horrified readers asking, “Isn’t there anything we can do?”


Rikers Island is consistently on the list of the ten worst prisons in the U.S., and for years, many have been calling for it to be shut down. For a 70-year-old, nonviolent, white-collar criminal who is no threat to anyone to be sent there is shocking. I wanted to know more about what this really will be like for Manafort and turned up an article about his transfer by someone who spent a year there himself.


The author is apparently an expert of sorts on prisons, having been incarcerated for a total of ten years, one of which was at Rikers. It’s every bit as dangerous and nightmarish as I imagined it would be. And, apparently, being in “PC” (protective custody) is even WORSE than being in the general population, as it’s extremely restrictive and the word “protective” is a joke to anyone who’s determined.


One very rarely encounters a nonviolent inmate there, and someone like Manafort –- white, wealthy and defenseless –- is going to be victimized for his money. Almost everyone there will be a threat to him, as they’ll all be trying to extort money from him. Woe to him if he doesn’t come up with whatever they demand. And many of these convicts are lifers, “visiting” temporarily from upstate prisons while they await additional trials; they have nothing whatsoever to lose and see these trips to Rikers as what the author calls “hunting safaris.”


The main point of the article isn’t that Manafort shouldn’t be there; it’s that NO ONE should be there –- that Rikers should be closed down --- and that perhaps the notoriety of this case will call more attention to that. (Hm, so Manfort’s being used again.)


I’m fine with Rikers being shut down. But, personally, I’d like to start with getting Manafort out of there, because he absolutely does not belong and will probably die there. This is not an appropriate punishment for the kind of crimes he committed. Period. In the final analysis, he ended up there because he dared to chair Donald Trump’s campaign and this is just a way to get at Trump.


What to make of Paul Manafort on Rikers Island: We all recognize that Trump’s former campaign chair is being punished by landing there; what does that say?

So, what can we do? An online search fails to turn up any petitions to stop this, but I’m not sure a petition would do any good in this case. I did see that there are petitions for EVERYTHING (well, almost everything; not this). We could start one, but the person behind this travesty, Cy Vance, Jr., is too busy virtue-signaling to all his Trump-hating friends to care what we think. In fact, he’d probably be giddy to think he’s upsetting us with this shameful stunt. Either something has to happen to publicly embarrass him over this and make him look indescribably bad, or Manafort’s lawyers are going to have to get a favorable ruling from some judge who has jurisdiction and who actually cares about civil liberties.


I hope Manafort has some extremely aggressive lawyers. No doubt they won’t be as aggressive as those lifers at Rikers Island, but this is going to take a serious fight. They need to be aggressive enough to win the day in court, and soon.


In the meantime, we’ll be looking to see if there really is anything we can do. There is a Paul Manafort Defense Fund, set up last year by his longtime friends, that you might want to check out. It has a lot of archived news stories about the investigation and his trial, but nothing yet about this transfer to Rikers. I hope they update it right away.

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Comments 1-25 of 84

  • Doug Sanchez

    06/15/2019 07:02 PM

    Mr. Manafort, we are behind you and support you.

  • Lorena & Ray Dohl

    06/13/2019 01:43 PM

    You could set up a prayer chain or special time for followers to join in praying that this transfer will be cancelled. And that Cy Vance 's role will become public knowledge. Manafort does not deserve this kind of treatment.
    Perhaps Comey, Brennan, Mueller, McCabe, and others do.

  • Eddie Byrn

    06/10/2019 11:51 PM

    It is obvious to me that sending Manafort to Rikers Island is to get rid of him. As in expecting him to be murdered by other inmates by specific plan or otherwise. It all is based on and of political corruption.

  • Patricia Scupien

    06/10/2019 10:32 PM

    I feel they are trying to get Mr Manafort to tell them lies to keep out of Rikers. Is there no justice for people who've worked for the POTUS?

  • George Houchens

    06/10/2019 12:25 PM

    What do we expect as a result from a malevolent "special investigation" created solely for the purpose of undoing a Presidential election! The investigators couldn't find anything to indict President Trump on, so they decided to maul his close confidants. The evil here is stupendous. And President Trump cannot even pardon this man because its the New York State officials that are doing the hatchet job.

  • William Schlumpf

    06/10/2019 11:58 AM

    Hi Fly Cy appears to be another case of freudian projection. He has been using public funds he controls through asset forfeiture
    Laws to live the high life on the taxpayers' dime. Though he will undoubtedly argue these funds do not come directly from the taxpayers because they come from companies and individuals the prosecutor has targeted for shake down, they are the property of the taxpayers and certainly not his. If Hi Fly Cy had any fear of being sent to rikers himself maybe he wouldn't be so cavalier in attempting to shakedown mr Manafort for information which likely does not exist.

    Here's a link :

  • Joe Analco

    06/09/2019 09:55 PM

    Unfortunately, until some of these left-wing politicians start filling the cells at Rikers Island for their crimes, this practice will continue.

  • Sharon Kafer

    06/09/2019 09:36 PM

    Praying that this man does not go to Rikers. How horrible! Whatever we can do to prevent this- count me in!

  • Emily Yeatts

    06/09/2019 08:29 PM

    When is mueller going to be investigated and his 17 minions including weissman mueller has been a disgrace to the doj he has broken every rule in the book including knowing what he was charged to investigate was a fraud when did he know this I know why he called it over because he knew Barr and he could not pull anything on him mueller lied and did things illegally and while I think manafort is guilty of process crimes nothing he did rates rulers what about mueller actions ivolved in the uranium deal what about the guys in prison that died and then were found innocent all because mueller wanted to protect his snitch why was the dossier not mentioned what about podesta I want to know how much mueller made being s pawn and a traitor

  • Evangeline zaragoza

    06/09/2019 07:09 PM

    Paul Manafort may have broken the law, but so have many of the folks in our political system. Why isn't someone going after them? Sorry to say this, but what is happening to Paul Manafort is the legal system going rogue, and I can't help but wonder if Mr. Vance is corrupt. Where are the people charged with defending civil liberties?

  • Connie kelly

    06/09/2019 05:23 PM

    Political prisoner- non violent prisoners do not belong on Rikers

  • Cole Fredrick

    06/09/2019 05:14 PM

    So sad to hear about Manafort. This is basically adding injury to insult, and trying to harm him. Praying for him! this is an evil move.

  • Carol Dugan

    06/09/2019 05:10 PM

    No Manafort does not belong at Rikers Island . He has suffered enough. What in hell are they thinking in New York.

  • Ruth Holst-Grubbe

    06/09/2019 04:14 PM

    Deep state corrupt move. This is beyond horrible and should not happen in America..

  • Allegra Kitchens

    06/09/2019 03:39 PM

    Even reading about how corrupt things are in Washington, D. C. in particular and with leftists, radical Democrats, and anti-Constitutional judges, I really can't understand how Manafort has been allowed to be treated so badly and in violation of the U. S. Constitution. Isn't Manafort the one who was held in solitary confinement for a year prior to him being charged or even going to trial? Now he has been moved to Rikers, it seems so that he will be murdered. Where is the Judicial Watch, the ACLU, or even though it is not a religious case, the ACLJ?

  • Kim Freeman

    06/09/2019 03:22 PM

    The liberal judge who is ordering Paul Manafort to Riker’s Island should be disbarred and sent there himself. This obscene order sounds like something out of NAZI Germany.
    Seems contradictory to me that liberals are opposed to waterboarding terrorist enemies and then on the other hand they support torturing a US Citizen accused of a non-violent white collar crime.

  • Stephen Russell

    06/09/2019 02:24 PM

    Explain FBI raids on Manafort & Stone, No one has yet.
    Why so much force for these 2 & for Stones family etc, very scary

  • kathy hirtz

    06/09/2019 01:24 PM

    I can't believe they put him in solitary for so long even before he had been tried. This country has gone so far off base with all these Trump hating people in power. How do we ever turn this country around to the great somewhat fair and free place where we grew up? It seems like we need to change it from the bottom (schools) up or nothing will ever change.

  • Kim

    06/09/2019 12:40 PM

    This is political imprisonment and makes me sick. This is what UK did to Tommy Robinson and why can’t he be pardoned for humane reasons. Why isn’t slush fund Hillary there and all the others. Why are we ALWAYS against the ropes against these evil dictators. If you think they won’t go after DT AND DRJr we are grossly underestimating them and their corrupt rule of law. Our nation is now under the rule of correct judges, attorneys and unelected officials. Sad state of affairs.


    06/09/2019 10:05 AM

    He needs to be removed immediately and who ever decided to send him there should be fired asap. Does Trump have to right to change him? If so, he should use his pen to do so.

  • Sharon Smith

    06/08/2019 09:02 PM

    Why not take it before the One True Judge? Use your base to call for intercessory prayer on Manafort's behalf. Ask God to intervene and an appropriate sentence be carried out to fit the crime.

  • Sarah Faith Buntin

    06/08/2019 07:51 PM

    Why Can't President Trump give Paul Manafort a Pardon?? Or at least Have him moved to another prison, by a Supreme Court Decision. This is cruel and unusual Punishment. The Crime doesn't fit the punishment. We all know, this act, was just to get back at President Trump that is why Manafort is in a Riker Prison. I hope, the good Lord puts all the people in Riker Prison, who have such hatred in their hearts for our President and for Good of the people. You know, Kind of like, what comes around goes around. Thank You Mike for All You Do, God Bless You! God Bless Our Country and God Bless Our President Donald Trump. P. S. Tell President Trump He might sell more hats if they said "God Please, Make America Great Again!" Just Sayin.

  • Jayne Scott

    06/08/2019 07:49 PM

    Would it have any positive affect to get petitions signed & sent to our nations Attorney General, William Barr?

  • Bob &Dee Lynch

    06/08/2019 07:12 PM

    It must be time for Trump to pardon him

  • Michael Gene Langley

    06/08/2019 06:40 PM

    It just looks like they are going to threaten Manafort's life, to prove they can send him where he, certainly, does not belong. If anything stinks of political shenanigans, this certainly does! But, is it just a new twist that the well off politically, since all of his money has been taken, are not going to benefit from compassion. That is, unless you are the past senator from New York!