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Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail

Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail

Manafort has had hundreds of phone calls to his lawyers and even more to others from jail and sent emails through his lawyers to outside contacts, special counsel Robert Mueller's team wrote in a new filing.

In earlier court filings, Mr. Manafort's attorney said the distance of Northern Neck jail - two hours from Washington, D.C. - has made it hard to adequately prepare for trial.

"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.

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.

Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, had asked for his July 25 trial on bank and tax fraud charges to be delayed in large part because it was hard to prepare while incarcerated 100 miles away.

Manafort asked to delay the trial in Alexandria, Virginia, until after he's been tried in Washington where he's accused of failing to register in the U.S.as an agent of Ukraine and of laundering millions of dollars.

Prosecutors say Manafort's almost unlimited access to his lawyers means he should have no problem preparing for the trial.

Between the two cases, Manafort's lawyers say the government has produced about 2 million pages of documents, tens of thousands of which came in the past few months.

Ellis issued the order after Mueller's prosecutors challenged Manafort's complaints about the conditions in his current facility, citing visitor logs and recorded phone calls showing he was detained in comfort with nearly unfettered access to his legal team. They have also alleged Mr. Manafort is kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day. 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.

Judge T.S. Ellis gave the special counsel prosecuting Manafort until Friday to respond to those motions.

"Review of that material can be accomplished well in advance of the July 25 trial date and does not warrant a months-long adjournment", the government filings 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 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.

On Wednesday, Ellis denied Manafort's request and ordered him moved to the Alexandria Detention Center, rejecting the notion that he would not be safe there.

But Mueller's office appeared to throw cold water on several of Manafort's arguments in Wednesday's filing opposing Manafort's request.

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