Paul Manafort being treated like ‘VIP’ in prison
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.
President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, set to go on trial July 25 on bank fraud and tax charges, asked for a delay citing a lack of access to his lawyers. But visitor logs and recordings of phone calls show that isn’t the case, prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday opposing Manafort’s request for a delay.
"Contrary to Manafort’s assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial," Mueller’s legal team said. "Manafort remarked in a taped prison call that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day."
Manafort, who was assigned an extra-large cell, also has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and visitor logs from the prison show that each week Manafort has had multiple visits with his legal team, according to Mueller’s filing.
On monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has said he’s being treated as a “VIP," the special counsel said. 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.
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. That trial is scheduled to start Sept. 17.
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington revoked Manafort’s bail last month, saying she had no choice but to lock him up because of alleged witness tampering.
The cases are U.S. v. Manafort, 17-cr-201, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington), and 18-cr-83, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).