Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved

Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved

President Donald Trump's jailed former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has said in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, federal prosecutors said Wednesday as they argued against postponing his financial crimes trial.

Ellis in his opinion posted Wednesday said the warrant special counsel Robert Mueller's investigators obtained "satisfied the Fourth Amendment's particularity and breadth requirements, and as such, suppression of the evidence recovered from the search of defendant's residence is not warranted". They said they gained access to another prison call on June 20 in which Manafort told a listener skeptical about delaying the Virginia case and bringing forward a separate trial in Washington, D.C.

Judge Ellis ordered U.S. Marshals to move Manafort "promptly", though no specific timeline for the move was immediately known.

Prosecutors say Paul Manafort gets special treatment during his pretrial confinement and there is no reason to delay the case against him. He also has a personal laptop, they say, with an extension cord so he can use it in his unit and not just the workroom.

The Northern Neck Regional Jail is about 100 miles from Washington, and Manafort lawyers wrote in a filing last week that the two-hour trip and restrictions on electronic or telephone communications "has made meetings.to prepare his defense far more infrequent and enormously time-consuming". To make their case, they cited recorded jail calls and prison logs suggesting Manafort is getting treated better than most detainees, not worse.

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"Manafort has spoken to his attorneys every day, and often, multiple times a day", the government observed.

The government said Mr. Manafort's conditions are not "more restrictive than other inmates" and in various ways, "less restrictive".

Manafort's prosecution spawned out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

Manafort has even "developed a workaround" to send emails, which prisoners normally would not be allowed to do, according to prosecutors: "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".

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington revoked Manafort's bail last month, saying she had no choice but to lock him up because of alleged witness tampering. It was the basis for Manafort's request for the trial to be delayed.

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