Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved
13 July, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Edward Snyder
Ellis has since ruled that Mueller is acting within the scope of his investigation in pursuing charges against Manafort. He has access to a laptop and does not have to wear a jail uniform, either, according to prosecutors.
Manafort was one of three Trump aides indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller in October 2017. Manafort was heard on a monitored prison phone call saying he was being treated "like a VIP," the filing adds; calls not with his attorneys are subject to monitoring. Ellis appeared to be frustrated by Manafort's attorneys when they expressed concerns with their client's safety after the judge made a decision to ease travel burdens they complained about.
Manafort has been charged with financial and foreign lobbying-related crimes as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.
In their court filing Wednesday, prosecutors sought to pick apart Manafort's arguments that he needs to delay the trial because of his jail conditions.
'While the opposition does not generally misrepresent the confinement conditions, its cavalier dismissal of the challenges of preparing for back-to-back complex white collar criminal trials while the defendant is in custody shows a lack of concern with fairness or due process, ' the lawyers wrote.
They said Mueller's team 'does not pause to consider the reasons a detained defendant might have to make his situation sound better when speaking with concerned friends and family'.
The "VIP" treatment Manafort has had at the Northern Neck jail appear to be coming to an end.
But Manafort's attorneys complained about the distance they had to regularly travel to meet with him in an effort to delay his trial.
In yet another twist, despite initially arguing that being held at the rural jail hurt his case, Manafort opposed the judge's order, asking to stay at Northern Neck and citing "safety" concerns as the rationale for staying put.
It's not clear yet whether or not Manafort will get the same perks in the new facility, but Ellis assured Manafort's legal team that the staff at the Alexandria Detention Center was "very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors".
Judge T.S. Ellis gave the special counsel prosecuting Manafort until Friday to respond to those motions.
President Donald Trump seized on these words and said, as he does, Judge Ellis "is really something special, I hear from many standpoints".
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