Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

12 July, 2018, 05:12 | Author: Carlos George
  • Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

The special counsel Robert Mueller's office used Paul Manafort's own words against him in a new court filing Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Mueller's office filed a motion in the Washington case notifying the court of its intent to present evidence at trial about a Justice Department inspection into Manafort's lobbying activities in the 1980's.

Though Manafort's lawyers have said he spends almost all of his days in solitary confinement, prosecutors described his living arrangements as a "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates" units' with its own bathroom and shower.

The Northern Neck Regional Jail is about 100 miles from Washington, and Manafort lawyers wrote in a filing last week that the two-hour trip and restrictions on electronic or telephone communications "has made meetings.to prepare his defense far more infrequent and enormously time-consuming". For now the trial in Virginia is still set to begin July 25. He had asked for a postponement until after a separate trial in Washington, D.C., where he faces similar charges.

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Manafort be moved to a closer detention facility in Alexandria, Virginia.

"C$3 ontrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial", the special counsel said in its brief.

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The documents were filed by federal prosecutors opposing Mr. Manafort's request to delay his Virginia trial for months.

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".

Judge T.S. Ellis gave the special counsel prosecuting Manafort until Friday to respond to those motions. He has his own bathroom and shower, a private telephone and laptop, and is not required to wear a prison uniform, the prosecutors said.

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.

Attorneys for Manafort also took issue with prosecutors' revelation of the content of some of Manafort's personal phone calls and suggested that Manafort was sugar-coating his conditions of confinement to ease the concern of friends and family.

Prosecutors also note that Manafort knew his refusal to let the Virginia bank and tax fraud charges be combined with the D.C. case would likely lead to this schedule. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned.

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