Paul Manafort fails to win freedom while challenging jail order

Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

Ellis will hear arguments next week on Manafort's request to postpone the Alexandria trial as well as his bid to have the trial moved to Roanoke or Richmond, Virginia, where his lawyers say press coverage has been less intense.

Paul Manafort recently filed a motion asking the judge in one of the two criminal cases against him to push back his trial date, arguing that he does not have enough access to his lawyers and documents needed to prepare a defense.

"It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Ellis wrote. He told people over a recorded phone line from the jail that he was being treated like a VIP and had reviewed all of the evidence before the trial, prosecutors said.

"Armed with personal conversations between Mr. Manafort and his family, the special counsel selects snippets to support its version of events", Manafort's lawyers said.

Washington federal court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent Manafort to jail on June 15 for violating the terms of his pre-trial release by attempting to contact potential witnesses. In the last three weeks, Manafort has had more than 100 phone calls with his attorneys, and another 200 calls with other individuals, according to Wednesday's filing. "There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there's a hope to it".

Moreover, they pointed out that Manafort told someone in a separate phone call on July 4 that he is able to consult his lawyers everyday, and that he has "all my files like I would at home".

Manafort speaks to his attorneys every day and often multiple times a day, they said. In Northern Neck facility, where Manafort was held previously, he had a private phone and computer and did not have to wear a uniform, according to prosecutors.

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"Manafort should not be permitted to obtain a two- or three-month continuance based on circumstances he has never challenged or sought relief from, in spite of repeated invitations to do so", prosecutors wrote. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted", the prosecutors said.

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.

Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort".

Manafort has been held at Northern Neck after a judge revoked his house arrest last month.

Paul Manafort has moved, over his objections, to a new jail with a history of illustrious guests. He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said.

While the Virginia case appears to be a fairly straightforward bank fraud and money-laundering prosecution, the Washington case may be more politically perilous to the White House because it could touch on the Trump campaign's possible connections to pro-Russian forces. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases. Manafort is scheduled for trial on July 25 on assorted charges arising from his Ukrainian political work.

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