Manafort loses bid to stay in 'VIP' jail

Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and led operations until August, a period including the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Prosecutors say Manafort's almost unlimited access to his lawyers means he should have no problem preparing for the trial. Manafort might be aware of this, so no wonder he's not looking particularly cheery about his current situation.

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. 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.

Manafort had argued that being held at the jail, about 100 miles from Washington, D.C., kept him from meeting easily with his legal team.

According to a Wednesday court filing from Mueller's office, Manafort boasted of receiving the "VIP" treatment at Northern Neck, which included his own private living space, bathroom, workspace, and phone, as well as not having to wear a prison uniform. Here the judge will also consider a request to have the trial moved to another city - Manafort argues he can not get a fair trial in Alexandria due to the publicity of his case.

Manafort's lawyers first sought to use the distance from the Northern Neck facility as a reason to delay his July 25 trial.

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Manafort was sent to jail June 15 as a judge agreed there was no way to restrain the lobbyist from alleged witness tampering if he remained on the outside.

The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer.

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.

Defense lawyers, in response, said the government had selected "snippets" of the conversations to support their version of events.

'While the opposition does not generally misrepresent the confinement conditions, its cavalier dismissal of the challenges of preparing for back-to-back complex white collar criminal trials while the defendant is in custody shows a lack of concern with fairness or due process, ' the lawyers wrote.

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