Mueller Filing Says Manafort Enjoying ‘VIP Status’ in Jail

In this March 8, 2018, photo, Jason Maloni, left, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s spokesman, left, walks with Paul Manafort, center, as they leave the Alexandria Federal Courthouse after an arraignment hearing.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(CN) – A new court filing by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the federal court in Virginia says former Trump campaign chairman has been captured on monitored prison calls bragging he’s being treated like a “VIP” while in custody.

The revelation came in Mueller’s opposition to Manafort’s motion that his Virginia trial be continued until after the end of his trial in Washington, D.C.

Among the unique privileges Manafort is enjoying in jail, according to the filing, are his being allowed to live in “a private, self-contained” unit which is larger than other inmates’ cells, and one that has its own bathroom and shower facilities, a personal telephone, and a workspace to prepare for trial.

The filing also notes Manafort is not required to wear a prison uniform.

And “Manafort also possesses a personal laptop that he is permitted to use in his unit to review materials and prepare for trial,” the filing says. “The jail has made extra accommodations for Manafort’s use of the laptop, including providing him with an extension cord to ensure the laptop can be used in his unit and not just in the separate workroom.”

According to prison telephone logs, the Mueller team says, Manafort has made over 100 telephone calls to his attorney in the past three weeks, and “another 200  calls with other persons.”

As to Manafort’s request for an lengthy adjournment of his Virginia trial, the special counsel says the request should be denied because neither Manafort or his attorneys has ever made an issue of his access to counsel or to material to prepare for his defense.

The filing also notes that on Tuesday, Manafort asked a federal judge to rescind an order that he be moved to another location, an order granted specifically to enhance his ability to interact with his attorneys.

“It is incorrect that Manafort has ‘very limited access to his attorneys and the records,'” the  filing continued. In fact, it says, just days before filing his motion for a continuance, Manafort was heard on a monitored call saying ‘I’ve gone through all the discovery now.'”

Mueller goes on to say that prison visitor logs indicate “that each week Manafort has had multiple visits with his legal team.”

“Finally, Manafort argues that an adjournment in the Eastern District of Virginia trial is needed to allow ‘passions to cool.’ … He cites no evidence that there are jury pool passions about Manafort that need to cool or that could not be weeded out in the course of thorough jury selection,” the filing says.

Manafort is scheduled to stand trial on financial crimes starting July 25. He had asked for a postponement until after a separate trial in Washington, D.C., where he faces similar charges.

Manafort has been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest.

Later on Wednesday, Mueller asked the federal court in Virginia for 100 blank subpoenas in the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The subpoenas would require their recipients to testify in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria on July 25, when Manafort’s trial in Virginia is set to begin.

%d bloggers like this: