John Dean: Manafort's Trial Will Proceed Despite Jail Fracas

14 July, 2018, 04:02 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

A federal judge in Alexandria ordered Paul Manafort to be moved to the Alexandria jail ahead of his July 25 trial.

Northern Neck Regional Jail Superintendent Ted Hull denied that Manafort was treated differently than prior occupants of the private living unit, which is reserved for "management problematic" inmates.

In ordering his transfer to Alexandria, Judge T.S. Ellis wrote, "The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors".

Earlier this week, the judge had ordered that Manafort be moved from the Northern Neck jail, more than 100 miles away from his lawyers, to the Alexandria Detention Center near the courthouse.

The Mueller Investigation is getting real, y'all, and to prove it, here's the mugshot of former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

In fact, Manafort has reported, in a taped prison call, that he has reviewed all discovery: Just days before filing his motion for a continuance, Manafort told the person on the call that, "I've gone through all the discovery now".

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Manafort, who was assigned an extra-large cell in his current jail, also has access to a separate workroom to meet with his attorneys from 8:30 a.m.to 10:00 p.m. Visitor logs from the jail show that each week Manafort had multiple visits with his legal team, according to Mueller's filing.

"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said, according to the court filing.

"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", prosecutors said.

"Manafort should not be permitted to obtain a two- or three-month continuance based on circumstances he has never challenged or sought relief from, in spite of repeated invitations to do so", prosecutors wrote.

Far from being restrictive, prosecutors said Manafort had been given a personal telephone in his cell, which he used for more than 300 calls with attorneys and others over the past three weeks, and found a workaround to the jail's ban on email. Ellis insisted this week that the transfer proceed even after Manafort's lawyers, citing concerns Tuesday about his safety and adjusting to a new jail so close to his trial date, asked that he stay put. The judge added that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort".

Manafort has asked to delay the Virginia trial for months.

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"In order to exchange emails, he reads and composes emails on a second laptop that is shuttled in and out of the facility by his team".

Prosecutors also said 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.

Manafort has mounted an aggressive defense against the special counsel, arguing that Mueller's mandate was too broad and that he was not authorized to charge Manafort with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

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

He additionally is charged with obstruction of justice, which relates to the allegations of attempted witness tampering.

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