Manafort Being Treated as Prison ‘VIP’ With Own Bathroom, Shower and Phone

Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

Andrew Harnik AP file Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

Manafort served Trump's campaign for almost five months, joining in March 2016 and climbing to be campaign chairman before stepping down in August 2016 after reports of his connections to pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

Since a federal judge revoked his bail last month, Manafort has lived in "a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units", featuring amenities that include "his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial", Mueller's team wrote.

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". Manafort might be aware of this, so no wonder he's not looking particularly cheery about his current situation. According to Northern Neck Superintendent Ted Hull, in the so-called VIP section, there is "no qualitative or quantitative difference" between cells and that Manafort has access to the same privileges as other VIP inmates.

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Judge T.S. Ellis, who is overseeing the Alexandria case, ordered a hearing for Tuesday to weigh motions by Manafort to move the first trial to a more Trump-friendly area of Virginia and to postpone it until after the Washington trial was done.

In a rebuttal, Manafort's lawyers said the effort put into monitoring their client's phone calls showed that Mueller had "unlimited resources" and accused his office of choosing conversations "to support its version of events".

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned the third superseding indictment against Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik of Moscow, adding obstruction of justice charges alleging they "knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade" two people associated with Manafort's lobbying operation "with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding".

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Last week, Manafort's lawyers complained that he has to spend 23 hours in solitary confinement in the unit. Currently, his trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin July 25.

Government lawyers reported Manafort had over 100 phone calls with his attorneys in the past three weeks.

President Donald Trump distanced himself from Manafort after the charges were made public.

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