Judge Doubles Down On Order To Move Manafort To New Jail

Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

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.

"Contrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial", Mueller's prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

In a recent phone call they say he explained in vague terms why he wanted to go to trial first in D.C. federal court, where he faces related charges in a trial set for September.

Ellis insisted this week that the transfer proceed even after Manafort's lawyers, citing concerns about his safety and adjusting to a new jail so close to his trial date, asked that he stay put.

Mueller's team argued in its filing that an attempt by Manafort to further delay his criminal trial in Virginia by two or three months should be denied by Judge Thomas Ellis.

Judge T.S. Ellis has not yet ruled whether he will postpone the trial or allow Manafort to change venue to Roanoke.

Besides those perks, Manafort also has his own bathroom and shower, and he doesn't have to wear a prison uniform.

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They also said Manafort has said in the calls that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day and that he has "all my files like I would at home".

Manafort asked for the delay on the grounds he has been unable to prepare for his trial properly since being jailed.

Last week, Manafort's lawyers complained that he has to spend 23 hours in solitary confinement in the unit.

"Manafort has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys and legal team", it continues. He has pleaded not guilty.

While the charges against Manafort center on his private work for a Russia-backed Ukranian political party, they were brought by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election/ Prosecutors say he got one favorable loan only because the bank chairman wanted a job in the Trump administration.

Manafort told his listener to "think about how it'll play elsewhere".

Prosecutors have not yet responded to that motion, but in Wednesday's filing they question why Manafort did not file a similar request in D.C., "a venue that presumably Manafort views as akin to the Alexandria venue he seeks to avoid". He has scheduled a hearing on both issues for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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