Judge orders Paul Manafort moved to suburban Washington jail


Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday opposing a continuance requested by Manafort's attorneys, one day after defense lawyers unexpectedly asked the court to keep their client at the Virginia jail where he's now being held, reported NPR.

Earlier this week, the judge had ordered Manafort be moved from the Northern Neck jail, more than 100 miles away from his lawyers, to the Alexandria Detention Center near the courthouse.

Manafort, who was President Trump's campaign chairman for several months, last week asked for his July 25 trial in Alexandria federal court to be delayed until this fall, saying his incarceration in Virginia's Northern Neck has made it too hard to prepare.

The jail superintendent at Northern Neck said in June that despite Manafort being held in the self-contained unit, he is not receiving special treatment.

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Mr. Manafort is facing trials in Washington and Virginia on tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to investigators and other charges.

The filing also asserts that Manafort has a personal telephone, laptop with extension court for private use in his own unit and access to all necessary documents.

Ellis issued the order after Mueller's prosecutors challenged Manafort's complaints about the conditions in his current facility, citing visitor logs and recorded phone calls showing he was detained in comfort with nearly unfettered access to his legal team.

Manafort has even used a workaround, prosecutors allege, to send more emails than he's allowed on the laptop he has in jail. According to the filing, Manafort reads and writes emails on a second laptop that his team brings in and out of the prison. He has not ruled on whether the trial should be delayed or moved to another location.

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Manafort's previous bail agreement had allowed him to remain at his tony Alexandria, Va., condo with a Global Positioning System ankle monitor. Mr. Manafort's attorneys have sought to push back his trial until fall, alleging his incarceration has made it hard to communicate.

Last week Manafort filed a motion seeking to postpone the Virginia trial until after the Washington trial concludes.

The judge made a different call. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved". The judge added that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort".

Manafort has also argued that his trial should be moved from Alexandria to Roanoke, where jurors are more likely to support the president, his attorneys told the court.

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