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Manafort Living Like 'VIP' in Jail, Judge Orders Him Transferred

Manafort Living Like 'VIP' in Jail, Judge Orders Him Transferred”

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.

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".

Prosecutors say Manafort has a personal telephone that he uses to prepare for trial with lawyers.

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.

For now the trial in Virginia is still set to begin July 25.

Manafort's previous bail agreement had allowed him to remain at his tony Alexandria, Va., condo with a Global Positioning System ankle monitor.

Prosecutors say Manafort's almost unlimited access to his lawyers means he should have no problem preparing for the trial. He sends and receives emails by reading and writing them on a laptop his attorneys bring in and out of the jail when they meet. On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP'". "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to the Alexandria Detention Center can not easily be explained or resolved".

In one of the phone calls, Manafort told the caller that he is treated like a "VIP" in prison, has a self-contained unit with a private bathroom and shower, and is not required to wear a prison uniform, according to the filing. They have also alleged Mr. Manafort is kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day. The government's description makes it sound somewhat more like a hotel room with some restrictions. He has not reached out, they said in court filings. It was the basis for Manafort's request for the trial to be delayed.

Prosecutors say the bulk of the documents handed over recently come from Manafort's own bookkeeping service, and so are not unfamiliar to him. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors also note that Manafort knew his refusal to let the Virginia bank and tax fraud charges be combined with the D.C. case would likely lead to this schedule. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned. 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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