Manafort says he’s being treated like a 'VIP' in jail: Court filing

Manafort says he’s being treated like a 'VIP' in jail: Court filing

Special counsel Robert Mueller opposed former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's motion to delay his trial in the Eastern District of Virginia until after his Washington, D.C., trial, arguing in a new filing that Manafort doesn't need more time to review documents that came from his own office.

Manafort is scheduled for trial on July 25 on assorted charges arising from his Ukrainian political work. Instead, a judge chose to move Manafort into more a more traditional jail situation, though he will be kept separate from other inmates for his own safety.

Manafort was previously free on bail, but his bail was revoked when he was charged with tampering with a witness in a separate criminal case in Washington.

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On Wednesday, Ellis denied Manafort's request and ordered him moved to the Alexandria Detention Center, rejecting the notion that he would not be safe there.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday as they argued against postponing his financial crimes trial that Manafort said in monitored phone calls that he was being treated like a "VIP" at the Northern Neck Regional Jail. Ellis appeared to be frustrated by Manafort's attorneys when they expressed concerns with their client's safety after the judge made a decision to ease travel burdens they complained about.

In ordering his transfer to Alexandria, Judge T.S. Ellis wrote, "The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors".

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The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer. They said Mueller's team "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". He was transferred to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia, from a facility about 100 miles away so he could be closer to the courthouse where he will be tried on charges of bank and tax fraud.

Attorneys for Manafort also took issue with prosecutors' revelation of the content of some of Manafort's personal phone calls and suggested that Manafort was sugar-coating his conditions of confinement to ease the concern of friends and family.

President Donald Trump seized on these words and said, as he does, Judge Ellis "is really something special, I hear from many standpoints".

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