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 treated like a "VIP" in prison, according to new court documents filed Wednesday.

According to The Washington Post, Manafort - who has been charged with financial- and foreign lobbying-related crimes as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe - is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

Manafort's lawyers have said they cannot properly prepare for trial with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C. In response, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered Manafort moved from his current jail to one in Alexandria, Virginia, where the federal courthouse is located, so that he can be closer to his lawyers.

Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, had asked for his July 25 trial on bank and tax fraud charges to be delayed in large part because it was hard to prepare while incarcerated 100 miles away.

"Contrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial", the filing from Mueller's team states.

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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. He also has a personal laptop, they say, with an extension cord so he can use it in his unit and not just the workroom.

"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. He's also considering Manafort's bid to move the trial to either Richmond or Roanoke, Virginia.

Moreover, they pointed out that Manafort told someone in a separate phone call on July 4 that he is able to consult his lawyers everyday, and that he has "all my files like I would at home".

"On the monitored prison phone calls", Weissman wrote, "Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a 'VIP'". But Mueller's office appeared to throw cold water on several of Manafort's arguments in Wednesday's filing opposing Manafort's request. Prosecutors with the special counsel asked the judge to jail Manafort after learning that he had attempted to contact potential government witnesses in the days after Mueller brought a superseding indictment against him.

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