Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved

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

Paul Manafort has been treated like a "VIP" in jail, 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.

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.

Ellis insisted this week that the transfer proceed even after Manafort's lawyers, citing concerns about his safety and adjusting to a new jail so close to his trial date, asked that he stay put.

Manafort is scheduled to stand trial on financial crimes starting July 25.

Judge T.S. Ellis has not yet ruled whether he will postpone the trial or allow Manafort to change venue to Roanoke. In the last three weeks, Manafort has had more than 100 phone calls with his attorneys, and another 200 calls with other individuals, according to the filing.

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.

But the government in opposing court filings painted a picture of Mr. Manafort being treated like a king in prison, noting that he has access to a personal telephone, laptop with extension chord for private use in his own unit and access to all documents.

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The Mueller team's court filing said Manafort was being detained in a "living unit" that was bigger than that given to other inmates.

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.

Between the hours of 8:30am to 10:00pm, Manafort has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys and legal team.

Prosecutors said that at the time Manafort was jailed June 15 and at multiple times since, they have offered to help if there were any issues with the jail location or conditions.

Manafort is charged with bank and tax fraud in eastern Virginia and is separately charged in Washington with counts including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent.

"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel attorneys said.

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