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Paul Manafort treated like a 'VIP' in prison, court documents show

12 July 2018

President Donald Trump's jailed former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has said in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, federal prosecutors said Wednesday as they argued against postponing his financial crimes trial.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's office is apparently fed up with Paul Manafort's efforts to delay his upcoming trial. He had asked for a postponement until after a separate trial in Washington, D.C., where he faces similar charges.

Ellis insisted this week that the transfer proceed even after Manafort's lawyers, citing concerns about his safety and adjusting to a new jail so close to his trial date, asked that he stay put.

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis ordered defense attorneys and prosecutors to appear July 17 in court for oral arguments on delaying the trial.

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Telephone logs show that in the last three week Manafort has had over 100 calls with his lawyers and another 200 with other people. 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.

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

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.

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. They have also alleged Mr. Manafort is kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day.

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The D.C. filing came as Manafort appealed the ruling last month that sent him to jail after a federal judge ended his home detention and ordered him detained following Manafort's indictment on attempted witness tampering while he had been awaiting trial.

Prosecutors said that at the time Manafort was jailed June 15 and at multiple times since, they have offered to help if there were any issues with the jail location or conditions. He has pleaded not guilty.

Manafort is charged with bank and tax fraud in eastern Virginia and is separately charged in Washington with counts including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

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Paul Manafort treated like a 'VIP' in prison, court documents show