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

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016

According to The Washington Post, Manafort - who has been charged with financial- and foreign lobbying-related crimes as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe - is being held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia. Regarding how he's prepared for trial, prosecutors heard him say on a taped call that he's reviewed all evidence before his trial, met with his lawyers every day and has "all my files like I would at home", the filing says.

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, set to go on trial July 25 on bank fraud and tax charges, asked for a delay citing a lack of access to his lawyers.

Far from restrictive, prosecutors said Manafort had been provided with a personal telephone in his cell, which he used for more than 300 calls with attorneys and others over the past three weeks.

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.

Mueller's team also notified the court that Manafort has apparently developed a "workaround" for sending emails from jail, which is forbidden at Warsaw, by reading and drafting messages on a separate laptop transported in and out of jail by his lawyers.

To send those extra emails, he "reads and composes emails on a second laptop that is shuttled in and out of the facility by his team".

In case you missed it, Manafort's team argued earlier that their client's living conditions in jail were preventing him from adequately preparing for his trial.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Manafort has been held at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., since another federal judge presiding over his case in Washington, D.C., revoked his bail last month. Ellis said he made that decision in response to Manafort's complaints about the difficulty in getting ready for the trial.

Judge T.S. Ellis wrote in a filing published Wednesday that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort". Manafort is incarcerated in Virginia, and he recently asked the court to push back the latter trial date, arguing that the circumstances of his incarceration mean he won't be ready for the trial in time. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".

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