Judge orders Manafort be moved from jail giving him 'VIP' treatment

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Judge orders Manafort be moved from jail giving him 'VIP' treatment

Special counsel prosecutors filed a brief Wednesday opposing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's motion to continue his trial, and their filing revealed quite a bit about the conditions of his detention.

In earlier court filings, Mr. Manafort's attorney said the distance of Northern Neck jail - two hours from Washington, D.C. - has made it hard to adequately prepare for trial.

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

Far from restrictive, prosecutors said Manafort had been provided with a personal telephone in his cell, which he used for more than 300 calls with attorneys and others over the past three weeks.

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.

Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the Alexandria case, ordered a hearing for Tuesday to weigh motions by Manafort to move the first trial to a more Trump-friendly area of Virginia and to postpone it until after the Washington trial was done.

Prosecutors say Manafort's almost unlimited access to his lawyers means he should have no problem preparing for the trial. He also has use of a separate workspace.

Manafort asked for the delay on the grounds he has been unable to prepare for his trial properly since being jailed.

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.

They also said Manafort has said in the calls that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day and that he has 'all my files like I would at home'.

Manafort's trial in Virginia is expected to begin later this month. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted". That trial is scheduled to start September 17.

"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel attorneys said. Manafort stands charged with over two dozen counts related to his lobbying work in Ukraine, including tax and bank fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, failure to register as a foreign agent, and making false statements.

Manafort has also argued that his trial should be moved from Alexandria to Roanoke, where jurors are more likely to support the president, his attorneys told the court.

Manafort responded by asking that he be allowed to stay in Warsaw, citing concerns about safety and "the challenges he will face in adjusting to a new place of confinement" two weeks before trial.

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