Judge T.S. Ellis III had directed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort from the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Va., and bring him closer to the courthouse in Alexandria, Va., just outside Washington.
Paul Manafort has moved, over his objections, to a new jail with a history of illustrious guests.
Manafort asked to delay the trial in Alexandria, 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, laundering millions of dollars and obstruction of justice.
Prosecutors working for the special counsel in the Russian Federation inquiry, Robert Mueller, suggested to Ellis this week that Manafort was trying to delay the Virginia case so that he would face the charges in Washington first.
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"The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors", he wrote in an order Wednesday.
According to the prosecution's filing, Manafort had enjoyed numerous "unique privileges" at the Virginia facility including access to his personal laptop and telephone. They also say he has his own workspace and has had more than 100 phone calls with lawyers in the last three weeks. 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. They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense. Despite saying in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, Manafort's lawyers have argued that they can not properly prepare for a trial scheduled to start this month with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C.
Prosecutors were responding to claims from Manafort's legal team of solitary confinement that made it "effectively impossible" for Manafort to prepare for trial. He denied Manafort's request to throw out from the trial evidence investigators had obtained from his apartment in Alexandria last July.
The judge nevertheless said in a June 21 order that Manafort must be given "reasonable opportunity for private consultation with counsel".
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On monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has said he's been treated like a "VIP," Mueller said. And he has had extensive access to his counsel and materials: On July 4, 2018, Manafort remarked in a taped prison call that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day, and that he has "all my files like I would at home". When his lawyers leave the facility, they reconnect it to the internet and Manafort's emails are sent.
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. Manafort's past charges remain.
Hull said that when jail officials learned Manafort was communicating by email, his attorneys were told to stop the practice. But the judges overseeing both cases against Manafort recently struck down those arguments.
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