Justice Department intervenes, keeps Manafort from being sent to Rikers Island: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Richard Gates's probation request Former FBI general counsel wants apology from Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE will reportedly not be transferred to the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City after Justice Department officials intervened to stop the move.

The New York Times reports Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen sent a letter to Manhattan prosecutors last week and that federal prison officials formally told the Manhattan district attorney's office on Monday that Manafort would no longer be moved to Rikers. Previous reports had indicated Manafort would be transferred and kept in solitary confinement. 

The Times reports Manafort is expected to remain in prison in Pennsylvania, where he is serving a 7 ½-year sentence, but that he could be held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan while awaiting trial.

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Manafort pleaded guilty in September to federal conspiracy charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. The charges stemmed from Manafort’s lobbying for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine and not from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE’s core focus on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election.

In March, the Manhattan district attorney announced another indictment, charging Manafort with 16 state felonies, including residential mortgage fraud. He is still awaiting trial on the new indictments.

Top Justice Department officials characterized the deputy attorney general's intervention as highly unusual but maintained to the Times that it was not inappropriate. State prosecutors and former Justice Department officials also told the Times they found it surprising the second-highest law enforcement official in the country would take interest in Manafort's prison location.

President Trump has the power to issue pardons for federal crimes, but this authority doesn’t apply to state-level cases. Trump has not said he will pardon Manafort but has praised him and lamented his sentencing earlier this year. 

“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort. I think it’s a very, very tough time for him,” he told reporters at the White House in March.