Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tried standing up for Paul Manafort on Twitter, but she seemed confused as ever about what she was commenting on.
In a Wednesday tweet the congresswoman responded to a New York Times article that itself was a bit misleading.
“Breaking News: Paul Manafort, who is serving a federal sentence, will be sent to the Rikers jail in New York, where he is likely to face solitary confinement,” read the New York Times tweet.
Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying she was opposed to Manafort facing “solitary confinement,” especially if he was to be imprisoned in her district.
“Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district — Rikers Island. A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is. Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary,” she tweeted.
Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district – Rikers Island.
A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is.
Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary. https://t.co/9rERLDSzrD
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
It seems like congressman may have been a little confused about the latest development in the Manafort story. The New York Times story on Manafort at one point noted that Manafort may be sent to Rikers, but the article has no mention of “solitary confinement” for the man.
In reality, Manafort is not being held in solatory confinement which is a punishment in the prison system.
What the story does mention is that Manafort would be held in isolation as part of protective custody, which is a way to protect prisoners throught to be in danger in general population. Unlike solitary confinement, protective custody is not a punishment and carries nowhere near the restrictions that solitary confinement does. This means Ocasio-Cortez’s call for Manafort to be released from “solitary confinement” makes no sense.
She later followed up her controversial tweet by doubling down and saying she was merely going by the wording used in the Times article.
“Yes — released from solitary. NYT used the term solitary confinement, & that’s what I am commenting on.’Protective custody’ IS a separate practice, but does not necessarily exclude solitary. If he is in fact not being held in solitary, great. Release everyone else from it too,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
The defense is pretty lame and might be evidence that Ocasio-Cortez did not even read the article, but instead fumed over the misleading information in the headline and then started waving her position around on Twitter.
The New York Times even ended up updating their headline to: “Paul Manafort to Be Sent to Rikers, Where He Will Be Held in Isolation.”
Yes – released from solitary.
NYT used the term solitary confinement, & that’s what I am commenting on.
“Protective custody” IS a separate practice, but does not necessarily exclude solitary. If he is in fact not being held in solitary, great. Release everyone else from it too.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
Manafort is being transferred from a minimum security prison in Pennsylvannia to New York City. This move is due to the Manhatten district attorney filing state mortgage fraud charges against Manafort.
Manafort was previously convicted of federal bank fraud. He was also convicted on tax and conspiracy charges.
Manafort was briefly campaign chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign team.
Manafort’s lawyer has said his client would prefer to stay in Pennsylvannia where he is part of the general population in the Loretto prison. He also used the term “solitary confinement” when speaking about Manafort.
“He’s a 70-year-old man and he spent the last year of his life in solitary confinement,” Blanche told NBC News. “I think having him spend his time in Loretto, where he’s in general population and his family can visit him, is a much fairer and appropriate result for him.”
Despite the times story, there is no official date set for Manafort’s transfer and no one knows what prison he will actually end up in.
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