Prosecutors: Manafort treated like 'VIP' in jail with own bathroom, phone

12 July, 2018, 21:20 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis ordered Manafort's move to the Alexandria facility from the Northern Neck jail in rural Virginia, where he has been held since June 15 after his bail was revoked due to allegations of witness tampering brought by the special counsel Robert Mueller's office.

Manafort has been charged with money laundering and bank fraud, among other violations.

But soon after the judge issued his order, Manafort's lawyers essentially told the judge "never mind," and urged the court to keep Manafort in his current jail in Warsaw.

Manafort, who asked for a delay citing a lack of access to his lawyers, had more than 100 phone calls with his attorneys in the past three weeks, is housed in a self-contained unit with his own bathroom, shower facility, personal telephone and workspace, Mueller said.

In a rebuttal, Manafort's lawyers said the effort put into monitoring their client's phone calls showed that Mueller had "unlimited resources" and accused his office of choosing conversations "to support its version of events".

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and led operations until August, a period including the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Manafort doesn't even have to wear a prison jumpsuit. That's how they know about his "VIP" remark and it's how they know that the claim he can't prepare for the trial is nonsense.

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ICE has three family detention centres with room for about 3000 people in all, and the places are already at or near capacity. "They have to determine the fitness of the parents to be able to release the kids to them", John noted .

Wednesday's special counsel filing also reveals that Mueller's team has been recording calls from Manafort's private phone, and are now using Manafort's own words against him.

Mueller added that "contrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions", Manafort is not confined to a cell, has a private unit with access to a workroom each morning, and has had regular visits from his attorneys.

"The Special Counsel does not pause to consider the reasons a detained defendant might have to make his situation sound better when speaking with concerned friends and family". Manafort denies all the charges. That trial is scheduled to start September 17.

On Thursday, July 12, Paul Manafort was booked into the Alexandria Detention Center, formally known as the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center.

Judge Ellis set a July 17 hearing to discuss Manafort's request to continue the Virginia trial and change venues to Richmond, Virginia.

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