The judge who ordered the transfer of Paul Manafort to another prison dismissed concerns about the safety of the former campaign chairman to Donald Trump, saying the facility knows how to handle "terrorists, spies and traitors", according to the legal news outlet Law & Crime. 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.
Attorneys for Manafort had resisted transferring him from the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, to a facility in Alexandra, Virginia, ahead of his upcoming trial.
Manafort asked for the delay on the grounds he has been unable to prepare for his trial properly since being jailed.
He had been on home confinement until he was charged with witness tampering and a judge ordered him held in jail.
But the special counsel's team reported on Wednesday that Manafort told an unnamed person by phone that "I've gone through all the discovery now", only days before his lawyers filed a motion to continue the case.
The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer. Mueller's office is calling shenanigans.
In response, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III directed that Manafort be moved from his current jail to one in Alexandria, Virginia, where the federal courthouse is located, so that he can be closer to his lawyers. He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said.
Besides those perks, Manafort also has his own bathroom and shower, and he doesn't have to wear a prison uniform.
"The Special Counsel 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". That's how they know about his "VIP" remark and it's how they know that the claim he can't prepare for the trial is nonsense.
The context for Manafort's comment wasn't clear but he is facing charges related to his work on behalf of clients overseas, including the onetime government of Ukraine and a powerful Russian oligarch. Now, Manafort's team wants the trial delayed by months and moved from the Beltway to Roanoke, Va., arguing there are too many Hillary Clinton voters in Alexandria, Va., to put together an impartial jury.