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

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

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is resisting being moved from a jail where he is reportedly being treated like a "VIP" to a facility in Alexandria, Virginia ahead of his upcoming trial.

Moreover, attorneys for Robert S. Mueller III's special counsel probe say Manafort wants the trial delayed only for strategic reasons.

In a separate footnote, prosecutors noted that Manafort has several "VIP" privileges at the prison he's in, including a large, private unit, his own bathroom and shower, his own phone, a personal laptop, and his own workspace to prep for trial.

Last week, attorneys for Manafort asked the court to delay Manafort's trial, claiming their client's detention at the rural facility put an unfair burden on pretrial preparations and specifically citing the distance - more than 100 miles - from Warsaw to Washington, D.C. Manafort also cited the lengthy commute in waiving his right to appear at pretrial hearings.

Manafort, who faces charges including bank fraud and failing to register as an agent for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, has a trial set for July 25 in Virginia and another trial in September in Washington.

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

Manafort also has a telephone and computer, along with the files for his case.

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Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort". "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted", the filing stated.

"It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Ellis wrote.

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. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to the Alexandria Detention Center can not easily be explained or resolved". The government's description makes it sound somewhat more like a hotel room with some restrictions.

Manafort, in his suppression request, argued that the warrant wasn't specific enough in describing the evidence it sought to seize, and that its scope was broader than the probable cause on which it was based. Manafort doesn't have to wear a prison jumpsuit, the filing adds. He has pleaded not guilty.

Manafort has been held there since June 15, when a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered him detained, partly because of new charges that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses.

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

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