Paul Manafort is receiving “VIP” treatment while incarcerated, according to remarks the former Trump campaign chairman has made to friends during phone calls and evidenced in recent court filings.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Manafort “has his own phone and computer, writes emails and does not have to wear a uniform”.
In arguing that Manafort’s July 25 trial in Alexandria federal court on bank and fraud charges should not be delayed, prosecutors said the former Trump campaign manager has been fully able to prepare while incarcerated in Northern Neck Regional Jail.
Moreover, attorneys for Robert S. Mueller III’s special counsel probe say Manafort wants the trial delayed only for strategic reasons.
Federal attorneys said Manafort wants to begin his trial in Washington, D.C. first, where he will be tried on related charges in September.
“Think about how it’ll play elsewhere,” Manafort said, according to the court filing. “There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there’s a hope in it.”
Mueller’s attorneys also noted that Manafort has stated during phone calls that he has “all my files like I would at home” and has “gone through all the discovery now” and enjoys daily conversations with his attorneys.
“Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates’ units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial,” the prosecutors wrote. “Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform. On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a ‘VIP.’”
Manafort has also “developed a workaround” to send emails, which jail 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. When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it re-connects to the Internet and Manafort’s emails are transmitted.”
Manafort filed a motion requesting the delay last week, citing his inability to properly prepare while jailed 100 miles away from his legal team, The Post reported.