A federal judge in Alexandria, Va., has ordered Paul Manafort to be moved to the city jail, though Manafort has asked to stay in a rural facility where prosecutors say he is receiving special treatment.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III directed that Manafort be moved to the Alexandria Detention Center, where the federal courthouse is located, so that he can be closer to his lawyers.
Far from being restrictive, prosecutors said Manafort had been given a personal telephone in his cell, which he used for more than 300 calls with attorneys and others over the past three weeks, and found a workaround to the jail's ban on email.
The 69-year old is now under arrest for bank fraud and money laundering with his criminal trial set to commence later this month.
In a Washington, D.C., court filing in which he described his jailing, Manafort had said he is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day.
Manafort wore what appeared to be a light olive drab jacket over a worn white tee shirt in his Alexandria mugshot, which was released by the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center.
Manafort had been typing emails on his attorneys' laptop that the lawyers would send once they were outside the jail, according to a government court filing this week.
Manafort, who was assigned an extra-large cell in his current jail, also has access to a separate workroom to meet with his attorneys from 8:30 a.m.to 10:00 p.m. Visitor logs from the jail show that each week Manafort had multiple visits with his legal team, according to Mueller's filing.
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Manafort has been held there since June 15, when a judge in Washington, D.C., ordered him detained, partly because of new charges that he had attempted to tamper with witnesses.
Manafort also asked to have his Virginia trial delayed on the grounds that he needed more time to review the many documents in the case, which centers on his work for a Russia-aligned political party in Ukraine. He denied Manafort's request to throw out from the trial evidence investigators had obtained from his apartment in Alexandria last July.
With the former Trump campaign chief's trial "looming on the horizon" in Alexandria, Va., U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered Russian Federation special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecution team Tuesday to address both venue and delay requests brought by the former chief of the Trump campaign.
As for listening in on Manafort's phone calls, Nanavati wrote: "Armed with personal conversations between Mr. Manafort and his family, the special counsel selects snippets to support its version of events".
"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said in a recorded phone call from jail cited by prosecutors. On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP'".
"Mr. Manafort is innocent and nothing about the latest allegation changes our defense", Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said.
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. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. But the judges overseeing both cases against Manafort recently struck down those arguments.