Manafort treated as prison ‘VIP’ with his own bathroom, shower, and phone

12 July, 2018, 05:08 | Author: Myra Gill
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A federal judge has ordered former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be moved from the Virginia facility where he's locked up after he allegedly claimed to be getting "VIP" treatment behind bars.

"Apparently, but unsurprisingly, the Special Counsel has taken the time to assign personnel to listen to all of the non-privileged phone calls Mr. Manafort makes from jail", they said.

Prosecutors says he is being held in a private living unit larger than where other inmates stay that has its own bathroom, shower, telephone and workspace, and he has a laptop with an extension cord he can use daily in his room at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

Government lawyers reported Manafort had over 100 phone calls with his attorneys in the past three weeks.

Manafort is scheduled for trial on July 25 on charges arising from work he performed for pro-Russia Ukrainian interests. He's also set to be tried in Washington, D.C.in September on separate charges.

Manafort has been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest.

Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort".


In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors sought to pick apart Manafort's arguments that he needs to delay the trial because of his jail conditions.

Ellis issued the order after Mueller's prosecutors challenged Manafort's complaints about the conditions in his current facility, citing visitor logs and recorded phone calls showing he was detained in comfort with nearly unfettered access to his legal team. "Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform".

On Wednesday, Ellis denied Manafort's request and ordered him moved to the Alexandria Detention Center, rejecting the notion that he would not be safe there. While Manafort's lawyers days ago said that he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day because the jail couldn't guarantee his safety, the government's portrayal suggested his circumstances are much less grim, a fact that Manafort himself tacitly admitted, when he said in a monitored conversation that he was being treated like a "VIP".

They also recently provided Manafort with 8,290 documents from the computer of his former business partner, Richard Gates, who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the prosecution.

Manafort's trial in Virginia is expected to begin later this month.

"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel attorneys said. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned. His trial in the District involves federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges and the witness tampering charge.

Updated at 2:05 p.m.

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