Prosecutors: Paul Manafort says he's treated like 'VIP' in jail

Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman

Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Trump, has been jailed at Northern Neck Regional Jail since a judge denied bail.

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. Rather, he said, Manafort is providing information to his attorneys, who then act on the information after they leave the jail. Manafort stands charged with over two dozen counts related to his lobbying work in Ukraine, including tax and bank fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, failure to register as a foreign agent, and making false statements.

Prosecutors working for the special counsel in the Russian Federation inquiry, Robert Mueller, suggested to Ellis this week that Manafort was trying to delay the Virginia case so that he would face the charges in Washington first.

A mugshot was released by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office after Manafort was booked into the Alexandria Detention Center. He also was not required to wear a prison uniform and was allowed to use his laptop in his cell, they said. Instead, a judge chose to move Manafort into more a more traditional jail situation, though he will be kept separate from other inmates for his own safety. They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense.

"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", prosecutors said.

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. Despite saying in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, Manafort's lawyers have argued that they can not properly prepare for a trial scheduled to start this month with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C.

On monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has said he's been treated like a "VIP," Mueller said.

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Manafort has been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest.

"Mr. Manafort is innocent and nothing about the latest allegation changes our defense", Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said.

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 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.

"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". He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He denied Manafort's request to throw out from the trial evidence investigators had obtained from his apartment in Alexandria last July.

But Manafort's legal team didn't complain until the last minute, the USA said.

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