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

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Manafort, who was President Trump's campaign chairman for several months, last week asked for his July 25 trial in Alexandria federal court to be delayed until this fall, saying his incarceration in Virginia's Northern Neck has made it too hard to prepare.

Paul Manafort is being treated like a "VIP" in prison, with a private bathroom and shower, a personal laptop and phone, and access to a meeting space for his legal team, Special Counsel Robert Mueller told a judge.

Though Manafort's lawyers have said he spends almost all of his days in solitary confinement, prosecutors described his living arrangements as a "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates" units' with its own bathroom and shower. Visitor and phone logs also indicate that Manafort meets with his legal team multiple times a week, has had over 100 phone calls with them since being incarcerated, and another 200 calls with other individuals, the filing said. Manafort, who faces charges including bank fraud and failing to register as an agent for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, has a trial set for July 25 in Virginia and another trial in September in Washington.

Manafort made a similar request in the case against him in D.C., where U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson similarly ruled in Mueller's favor.

"C$3 ontrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial", the special counsel said in its brief. He also has use of a separate workspace.

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.

The Mueller team's court filing said Manafort was being detained in a "living unit" that was bigger than that given to other inmates. "Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform".

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".

Last week, Manafort's lawyers complained that he has to spend 23 hours in solitary confinement in the unit. The trial is scheduled to begin later this month.

On Wednesday, Ellis issued another written order denying Manafort's request and he should be moved to the Alexandria detention center. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted". Ellis said he made that decision in response to Manafort's complaints about the difficulty in getting ready for the trial.

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