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Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail

12 July 2018

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

Manafort has also spoken daily with his attorneys and has had "multiple visits with his legal team" in jail despite claiming to court that he has struggled to meet his attorneys since being moved further away from their offices. Manafort doesn't have to wear a prison jumpsuit, the filing adds.

"On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP", the filing stated.

Judge T.S. Ellis, who is presiding over Manafort's trial in Virginia beginning in two weeks, had ordered that Manafort should be moved closer to the city "to ensure that defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense".

"It is incorrect that Manafort has 'very limited access to his attorneys and the records", prosecutor Andrew Weissmann argued, pointing out that Manafort said on the phone, "I've gone through all the discovery now".

In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors sought to pick apart Manafort's arguments that he needs to delay the trial because of his jail conditions. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted", the filing stated.

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. They said they gained access to another prison call on June 20 in which Manafort told a listener skeptical about delaying the Virginia case and bringing forward a separate trial in Washington, D.C.

On top of that, Weissmann noted, Manafort has his own room (larger than others), his own phone line, and his own laptop, with an extension cord that lets him work from his bedroom instead of his private work space.

"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said, according to the court filing.

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". Manafort denies all the charges.

Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail