Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 12, 2018

As more details have been revealed about the cushy set-up Paul Manafort has in his current jail, a federal judge doubled down on his order that Manafort be moved to a new detention center - an order Manafort unsuccessfully asked the judge to reverse even though he had complained about the location of the rural Virginia jail now holding him.

Judge Ellis ordered U.S. Marshals to move Manafort "promptly", though no specific timeline for the move was immediately known. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former presidential campaign chairman, was recorded saying he is being treated "like a VIP" in jail despite complaining publicly about the conditions, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The filing from prosecutors counters Manafort's request to delay his Virginia trial by months. "There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there's a hope to it". They also say he has his own workspace and has had more than 100 phone calls with lawyers in the last three weeks.

Citing prison visitor logs, Mueller's office says Manafort is getting plenty of time to meet with his lawyers, and is benefiting from the "VIP" treatment at Northern Neck Jail in Virginia. He is allowed to write emails and make an unlimited number of 15-minute calls to his lawyers.

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.

Besides those perks, Manafort also has his own bathroom and shower, and he doesn't have to wear a prison uniform.

Manafort filed a motion last week asking for his trial to be delayed until this fall, because it was impossible to fully prepare due to distance and with limited electronic and phone access. They have also alleged Mr. Manafort is kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day. The trial is scheduled to begin later this month. He has not reached out, they said in court filings.

Prosecutors say the bulk of the documents handed over recently come from Manafort's own bookkeeping service, and so are not unfamiliar to him. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges. The unit includes a work space and a private shower.

Manafort told his listener to "think about how it'll play elsewhere".

Ellis has not ruled on the Virginia continuance or the change of venue.

Updated at 2:05 p.m.

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