Paul Manafort hospitalized after suffering 'cardiac event'

By Caitlin Oprysko and Darren Samuelsohn

President Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort is recovering in the hospital after experiencing a “cardiac event” while in prison for financial crimes, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The 70-year-old longtime Republican operative has been in the hospital since Thursday, attorney Todd Blanche told POLITICO. Blanche said he’d been unaware of Manafort’s condition and learned of it from inquiring reporters. ABC News first reported Manafort’s hospitalization earlier in the day.

The president’s former campaign chairman was scheduled for a court appearance on Wednesday, but Blanche said he would not be present at the hearing. A source familiar with the situation said the hearing would go on as planned, even without the defendant.

Manafort is serving a 7½-year sentence for a slew of crimes uncovered during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, including financial fraud and a series of lobbying and witness tampering crimes. He is being held at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution, Loretto in central Pennsylvania. A prison official said Manafort is still “designated” there, but declined to say whether he was at the prison on Tuesday.

News of Manafort’s hospitalization broke not long after Rick Gates, his former deputy, received a relatively light sentence for his role in a financial conspiracy with Manafort and for lying to investigators. Gates became a star witness for Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties and helped put Manafort behind bars.

Manafort has faced “significant” health issues since October 2018, when he appeared in federal court in Virginia in a wheelchair and asked for leniency because of his condition.

While Blanche said on Tuesday that it was still unclear to his family and friends what had been ailing Manafort, they “of course … are extremely concerned about his health and still do not have a full understanding of his medical condition or well-being.” Blanche added that they were relieved to find out on Tuesday the longtime Republican consultant is stable.

“We are hopeful that he makes a speedy recovery," he added.

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.