Thursday, 22 November, 2018

Manafort Gets to Move to Jail Closer to His Pending Trial

Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Andrew Harnik AP file Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman
Kenny Thornton | 12 July, 2018, 01:43

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.

But in the Wednesday filing, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE argued that Manafort's claims do not hold up because Manafort has said in multiple prison calls that he has had full access to his files and attorneys.

"Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates" units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial", prosecutors said in their filing.

The filing said that Manafort had made more than 300 phone calls in the last three weeks and even "developed a workaround" to outsmart a ban on inmates sending or receiving emails at Northern Neck regional jail in Warsaw, Virginia. 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.

Manafort was remanded to a jail in Warsaw, Virginia about 100 miles from Washington following Mueller's allegations that he was tampering with witnesses.

Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort".

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"When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the Internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted", they wrote.

But prosecutors wrote that in a taped phone call from prison, Manafort told the person on the other end, "I've gone through all the discovery now". "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved". The government's description makes it sound somewhat more like a hotel room with some restrictions. The unit includes a work space and a private shower.

Manafort's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors say the bulk of the documents handed over recently come from Manafort's own bookkeeping service, and so are not unfamiliar to him.

"On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a 'VIP, '" prosecutors quoted him as having said. He has scheduled a hearing on both issues for Tuesday at 1 p.m. But now he is pushing back on a judge's ruling that he be moved to Alexandria.

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