Saturday, 22 September, 2018

This is Paul Manafort behind bars

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Faye Gross | 12 July, 2018, 21:23

A mugshot released by the sheriff's office shows an unsmiling Manafort with graying hair and light facial stubble four weeks after the former Trump campaign chairman was locked up in a Virginia facility. They said they gained access to another prison call on June 20 in which Manafort told a listener skeptical about delaying the Virginia case and bringing forward a separate trial in Washington, D.C.

The judge in that case, Amy Berman Jackson, ordered Manafort to be jailed last month after he was accused of attempting to convince potential witnesses to lie on the stand. Well, Manafort's lawyers have responded by calling out Mueller for being "wrong" about a description of the conditions their client has been jailed in.

The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer. But when Manafort's transfer was ordered, his lawyers protested, citing the logistical complications and stress of moving to a new facility.

"While the opposition does not generally misrepresent the confinement conditions, its cavalier dismissal of the challenges of preparing for back-to-back complex white collar criminal trials while the defendant is in custody shows a lack of concern with fairness or due process", the lawyers wrote.

"Apparently, but unsurprisingly, the Special Counsel has taken the time to assign personnel to listen to all of the non-privileged phone calls Mr. Manafort makes from jail", they said.

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Furthermore, prosecutors said Mr. Manafort has his own bathroom and shower, a self-contained living unit - instead of a cell - that is larger than other inmates' space and he is not required to wear a prison uniform.

The government disputes this, noting that in a taped phone conversation, Manafort was heard saying, "I've gone through all the discovery now", and that he has "all my files, like I would at home".

Also on Wednesday, Mueller's office filed a motion in the Washington case notifying the court of its intent to present evidence at trial about a Justice Department inspection into Manafort's lobbying activities in the 1980's.

Judge Ellis set a July 17 hearing to discuss Manafort's request to continue the Virginia trial and change venues to Richmond, Virginia.

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