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Paul Manafort treated like a 'VIP' in prison, court documents show
12 July 2018, 01:40 | Erica Roy
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The judge added that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort". In a document dated July 10 but made public on Wednesday, Ellis wrote: "It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem". "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 a recent phone call they say he explained in vague terms why he wanted to go to trial first in D.C. federal court, where he faces related charges in a trial set for September.
"Manafort told the person on the call that, "I've gone through all the discovery now", according to the filing. "There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there's a hope in it". In the last three weeks alone, he's had more than 100 phone calls with his lawyers and more than 200 with other people. He is allowed to write emails and make an unlimited number of 15-minute calls to his lawyers.
Manafort is also reported to have found a "workaround" on the prison's email ban. He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said. As he told someone in another monitored phone call: I have "all my files like I would at home". They have also alleged Mr. Manafort is kept in solitary confinement up to 23 hours a day. He has not reached out, they said in court filings.
Manafort's lawyers did not respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors also said they were in touch with Manafort's lawyers as recently as last week to ask if he had any concerns about being incarcerated, and said he had not raised any issues until now. The trial is scheduled to begin later this month. Manafort denies all the charges.
Manafort's prosecution spawned out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
In the tweet below, you can see the Mueller footnote accusing Manafort of skirting jail rules.
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