Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen may not get released early due to new prison policy
Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen

On Tuesday, Politico reported that the Trump administration is changing its mind on a planned COVID-19-related prisoner release policy — and that could spell bad news for two of his former associates.

"Prison officials indicated earlier this month that inmates who had served less than half their sentences could still be considered for early release to limit the spread of infection behind bars," reported Josh Gerstein. "However, inmates in various prisons who had been put into prerelease quarantine almost two weeks ago were advised Monday by authorities that the policy had changed, lawyers and associates said. Officials would not waive a requirement that prisoners must have completed 50 percent their sentence to be eligible for early release during the pandemic, the inmates were told."

"However, shortly after this article was published Tuesday, a Justice Department spokesman suggested yet another course correction and indicated that officials at the Bureau of Prisons were confused or given inaccurate guidance about previous directives from Attorney General William Barr," continued the report.

"The reversal reported by inmates to their families and lawyers on Monday could have dashed the hopes of several well-known prisoners seeking release from federal custody, including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen," said the report. "Neither man has served half his sentence."

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