Prosecutors: Paul Manafort Says He's Being Treated Like a 'VIP' in Jail

Pauline Gross
July 12, 2018

Updated at 2:05 p.m.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the federal courthouse in Washington, April 4. He has his own phone and bathroom, and doesn't have to wear a prison jumpsuit. He was originally held at Northern Neck Regional Jail, and court documents say that Manafort felt like a "VIP" since he got to have a laptop, a phone, and his own private quarters.

Manafort asked to delay the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, until after he's been tried in Washington where he's accused of failing to register in the U.S.as an agent of Ukraine and of laundering millions of dollars. Here the judge will also consider a request to have the trial moved to another city - Manafort argues he can not get a fair trial in Alexandria due to the publicity of his case.

Manafort's recorded remark about his access to his files appears to contradict his claim to have had "very limited access to his attorneys and the records" from the discovery process that he needed, the Mueller team said.

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Judge T.S. Ellis III rejected those concerns in moving Manafort to Alexandria. In the last three weeks, Manafort has had more than 100 phone calls with his attorneys, and another 200 calls with other individuals, according to the filing. They made clear they were not monitoring what was discussed in his calls with lawyers, but rather relying on a prison telephone log to note which calls were taking place. He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said.

Still, "Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP", Mueller's team wrote. Manafort denies all the charges.

Paul Manafort may be in jail, but he's getting treated better than other inmates, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is arguing against Manafort's call for his trial date to be pushed back. Mr. Manafort's attorneys have sought to push back his trial until fall, alleging his incarceration has made it hard to communicate.

But soon after the judge issued his order, Manafort's lawyers essentially told the judge "never mind," and urged the court to keep Manafort in his current jail in Warsaw. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".

Other reports by GizPress

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