Prosecutors: Paul Manafort Says He's Being Treated Like a 'VIP' in Jail
Prosecutors: Paul Manafort Says He's Being Treated Like a 'VIP' in Jail
Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016
12 July, 2018, 05:09
In response, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered Manafort moved from his current jail to one in Alexandria, Virginia, where the federal courthouse is located, so that he can be closer to his lawyers. He has not ruled on whether the trial should be delayed or moved to another location. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former presidential campaign chairman, was recorded saying he is being treated "like a VIP" in jail despite complaining publicly about the conditions, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Ellis in his opinion posted Wednesday said the warrant special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators obtained "satisfied the Fourth Amendment's particularity and breadth requirements, and as such, suppression of the evidence recovered from the search of defendant's residence is not warranted".
Last week Manafort filed a motion seeking to postpone the Virginia trial until after the Washington trial concludes.
Manafort told his listener to "think about how it'll play elsewhere".
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.
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"Manafort has spoken to his attorneys every day, and often, multiple times a day", the government observed. He is allowed to write emails and make an unlimited number of 15-minute calls to his lawyers.
"Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial", the special counsel wrote. "Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform".
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. According to the filing, Manafort reads and writes emails on a second laptop that his team brings in and out of the prison. They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense.
Manafort has been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest.
The Mueller team's court filing said Manafort was being detained in a "living unit" that was bigger than that given to other inmates. He has not reached out, they said in court filings. 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.
The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer. He has pleaded not guilty. His Washington, D.C., trial is set to kick off in September. Ellis said he made that decision in response to Manafort's complaints about the difficulty in getting ready for the trial. His trial in the District involves federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges and the witness tampering charge. He has scheduled a hearing on both issues for Tuesday at 1 p.m.
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