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Manafort Gets to Move to Jail Closer to His Pending Trial

12 July 2018, 01:42 | Devin Moran

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016

Paul Manafort thinks he's being treated like a "VIP" in jail, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office said in a court filing Wednesday that argued his July 15 trail should not be delayed.

According to The Washington Post, Manafort - who has been charged with financial- and foreign lobbying-related crimes as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe - is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

He's even got his own "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units", the filing says. Phone logs show that he has made more than 300 calls, including more than 100 to his lawyers.

Mueller's team argued in its filing that an attempt by Manafort to further delay his criminal trial in Virginia by two or three months should be denied by Judge Thomas Ellis.

Last week Manafort filed a motion seeking to postpone the Virginia trial until after the Washington trial concludes.

The cases are U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington), and 18-cr-83, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

Prosecutors say Manafort's almost unlimited access to his lawyers means he should have no problem preparing for the trial. In a document dated July 10 but made public on Wednesday, Ellis wrote: "It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem".




Manafort has even "developed a workaround" to send emails, which prisoners normally would not be allowed to do, according to prosecutors: "In order to exchange emails, he reads and composes emails on a second laptop that is shuttled in and out of the facility by his team. The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".

In a D.C. court filing in which he described his jailing, Manafort had said he is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.

Manafort also allegedly remarked that he enjoyed access to "all my files like I would at home" while claiming to a judge that his access to records was limited. The government's description makes it sound somewhat more like a hotel room with some restrictions. Prosecutors with the special counsel asked the judge to jail Manafort after learning that he had attempted to contact potential government witnesses in the days after Mueller brought a superseding indictment against him.

Prosecutors also said they were in touch with Manafort's lawyers as recently as last week to ask if he had any concerns about being incarcerated, and said he had not raised any issues until now. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In the tweet below, you can see the Mueller footnote accusing Manafort of skirting jail rules.

Updated at 2:05 p.m.



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