Paul Manafort released early from prison over coronavirus fears: report


President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released from prison early Wednesday because of the coronavirus crisis, according to a report.

Manafort, 71, left FCI Loretto in central Pennsylvania in the early morning hours, according to ABC News, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The longtime GOP strategist had not been due to leave prison until November 2024 but will now serve the rest of his 7½-year sentence in home confinement, the network said.

His legal team fought for the release, citing his age and pre-existing health conditions, including a recent “cardiac event.”

While there are no known cases of coronavirus at FCI Loretto, sources told ABC that the prison, housed in an old monastery, was a risk because of its open layout.

A lawyer for Manafort declined to comment and the Bureau of Prisons also did not immediately respond, the network said.

Manafort was convicted in August 2018 of tax evasion, failure to report foreign bank accounts, engaging in unregistered lobbying for foreign entities and witness tampering.

His crimes were first uncovered during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and possible cooperation by the Trump campaign.

Manfort was just one of several high-profile prisoners who have used the pandemic to push for early release.

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