Manafort Being Treated as Prison ‘VIP’ With Own Bathroom, Shower and Phone

Manafort Being Treated as Prison ‘VIP’ With Own Bathroom, Shower and Phone

Manafort Being Treated as Prison ‘VIP’ With Own Bathroom, Shower and Phone

Moreover, attorneys for Robert S. Mueller III's special counsel probe say Manafort wants the trial delayed only for strategic reasons.

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.

Mr. Manafort is facing trials in Washington and Virginia on tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to investigators and other charges.

Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort".

According to prosecutors, the 69-year-old also boasted about having access to a personal laptop and telephone - which he used to make hundreds of phone calls.

"Manafort has revealed on the monitored phone calls 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", Mueller's team said.

Manafort, who was assigned an extra-large cell, also has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys from 8:30 a.m.to 10:00 p.m., and visitor logs from the prison show that each week Manafort has had multiple visits with his legal team, according to Mueller's filing.

Judge T.S. Ellis has not yet ruled whether he will postpone the trial or allow Manafort to change venue to Roanoke. While Manafort's lawyers days ago said that he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day because the jail couldn't guarantee his safety, the government's portrayal suggested his circumstances are much less grim, a fact that Manafort himself tacitly admitted, when he said in a monitored conversation that he was being treated like a "VIP".

Manafort also argued to have his Virginia trial continued on the grounds that he needed more time to review the many documents in the case, which centers on his work for a Russia-backed political party in Ukraine.

But prosecutors wrote that in a taped phone call from prison, Manafort told the person on the other end, "I've gone through all the discovery now". The trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin later this month, while the D.C. trial is slated for September.

Manafort, in his suppression request, argued that the warrant wasn't specific enough in describing the evidence it sought to seize, and that its scope was broader than the probable cause on which it was based.

Manafort had argued that being held at the jail, about 100 miles from Washington, D.C., kept him from meeting easily with his legal team. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned.

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