Even Democrats are Disgusted By Manafort Relocation to Rikers Island
A great many eyebrows were raised in the legal community, the conservative blogosphere, and throughout the country when it was announced that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort would be moved to Riker’s Island in New York City. The infamously brutal prison has been used for decades to house some of the most violent offenders in New York, from gang members to murderers. So what business did New York City District Attorney Cy Vance have calling for a court to have Manafort – guilty of white-collar crimes at best – to this hellhole?
As it turns out, this decision was so egregious that even some of Trump’s biggest haters came out in force against Manafort’s relocation.
“A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “That’s what solitary confinement is. Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary.”
Liberal activist/journalist Elie Mystal, who never misses a chance to speak out against Trump, wrote: “Riker’s Island is an outdated abomination that should be shut down. Nobody should be sent there. And, generally speaking, nobody should be sent to solitary confinement. Sending an old man, a non-violent offender, to solitary confinement is just wrong.”
“I see people excited to see Paul Manafort sent to Rikers Island and put in solitary confinement,” tweeted Black Lives Matter writer Shaun King. “We must be so principled in our calls for reform that we want them even for our enemies.”
As for legal analysts who aren’t predisposed to a knee-jerk reaction against anything “Trump,” famed attorney Alan Dershowitz said that Manafort’s relocation to Riker’s was purely political.
“It is yet another example of the weaponization of the criminal process for partisan advantage,” seethed Dershowitz in a Fox News op-ed. “The tactic of squeezing a potential witness by making his imprisonment unbearably harsh is generally reserved for mafioso, terrorists and other violent criminals who may have evidence against their bosses.”
To many on the left, though, the very act of being Trump’s campaign manager is worse than all of those criminal categories by itself. Never mind that Manafort was not charged with a single thing relating to the 2016 campaign. Never mind that Trump and his entire campaign apparatus have been exonerated for the phony “crime” of colluding with the Kremlin. Never mind that Manafort’s charges are the very definition of white-collar crime – tax evasion and the like. No, because he associated himself with the Big Demon himself, he must be treated like any other high-level threat to national security.
The Trump presidency has brought a lot of ugly things to light about the way the left will use Big Government to punish its political enemies. Let’s hope it is a lesson not soon forgotten.