Manafort treated as prison ‘VIP’ with his own bathroom, shower, and phone

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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.

Since a federal judge revoked his bail last month, Manafort has lived in "a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units", featuring amenities that include "his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial", Mueller's team wrote. Manafort's not required to wear a prison uniform and isn't confined to a cell from 8:30 a.m.to 10 p.m., Mueller said. According to the filing, Manafort reads and writes emails on a second laptop that his team brings in and out of the prison. Prosecutors also told Judge T.S. Ellis III that Manafort has had multiple visits with his legal team each week.

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.

Manafort has been held there since June 15, when a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered him detained, partly because of new charges that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses.

"It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Ellis wrote. He also wants the trial moved to Roanoke.

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Telephone logs show that in the last three week Manafort has had over 100 calls with his lawyers and another 200 with other people.

The government's description makes it sound somewhat more like a hotel room with some restrictions.

The developments came as Manafort gets closer to two trials where he will defend himself against a number of charges ranging from bank fraud to failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to the Alexandria Detention Center can not easily be explained or resolved".

Prosecutors have not yet responded to that motion, but in Wednesday's filing they question why Manafort did not file a similar request in D.C., "a venue that presumably Manafort views as akin to the Alexandria venue he seeks to avoid". They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned.

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