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

Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

Manafort treated as prison ‘VIP’ with his own bathroom, shower, and phone

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

Paul Manafort is being treated like a "VIP" in prison, with a private bathroom and shower, a personal laptop and phone, and access to a meeting space for his legal team, Special Counsel Robert Mueller told a judge.

He's even got his own "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units", the filing says.

They pointed out that he has had a personal telephone in his unit at the Northern Neck Regional Jail and has had more than 100 phone calls with his lawyers in the last three weeks as they prepare for trial.

Paul Manafort, who has been held in solitary confinement in an eastern Virginia jail, will move to a facility closer to the courthouse where he faces a July 25 trial. Manafort is incarcerated in Virginia, and he recently asked the court to push back the latter trial date, arguing that the circumstances of his incarceration mean he won't be ready for the trial in time.

The judge in that case, Amy Berman Jackson, ordered Manafort to be jailed last month after he was accused of attempting to convince potential witnesses to lie on the stand.

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While he isn't technically allowed to send or receive emails, Manafort has, according to the special counsel, developed a workaround, revealing on a monitored phone call that "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".

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. But Mueller's office appeared to throw cold water on several of Manafort's arguments in Wednesday's filing opposing Manafort's request. Manafort doesn't even have to wear a prison jumpsuit. He has pleaded not guilty.

The Mueller team's court filing said Manafort was being detained in a "living unit" that was bigger than that given to other inmates.

Prosecutors have not yet responded to that motion, but in Wednesday's filing they question why Manafort did not file a similar request in D.C., "a venue that presumably Manafort views as akin to the Alexandria venue he seeks to avoid".

Manafort has mounted an aggressive defense against the special counsel, arguing that Mueller's mandate was too broad and that he was not authorized to charge Manafort with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

Ellis has not ruled on the Virginia continuance or the change of venue.

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