U.S. President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort may face evidence at trial about alleged wrongdoing in the 1980s and lost a bid to stay at a jail where he said he was being treated like a "VIP", court papers on Wednesday showed.
Defense lawyers called the statements from special counsel Robert Mueller's office 'self-serving and inaccurate'.
In a separate footnote, prosecutors noted that Manafort has several "VIP" privileges at the prison he's in, including a large, private unit, his own bathroom and shower, his own phone, a personal laptop, and his own workspace to prep for trial.
The Northern Neck Regional Jail is about 100 miles from Washington, and Manafort lawyers wrote in a filing last week that the two-hour trip and restrictions on electronic or telephone communications "has made meetings.to prepare his defense far more infrequent and enormously time-consuming".
Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager, had asked for his July 25 trial on bank and tax fraud charges to be delayed in large part because it was hard to prepare while incarcerated 100 miles away. Manafort's remarks appear to undermine his counsel's argument that detaining their client unfairly impedes their ability to prepare for trial.More news: Warframe port on its way to Nintendo Switch
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Between the two cases, Manafort's lawyers say the government has produced about 2 million pages of documents, tens of thousands of which came in the past few months. While Manafort's lawyers days ago said that he was in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day because the jail couldn't guarantee his safety, the government's portrayal suggested his circumstances are much less grim, a fact that Manafort himself tacitly admitted, when he said in a monitored conversation that he was being treated like a "VIP". According to the filing, Manafort reads and writes emails on a second laptop that his team brings in and out of the prison. Manafort doesn't have to wear a prison jumpsuit, the filing adds. The trial in Virginia is scheduled to begin later this month, while the D.C. trial is slated for September.
"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel attorneys said.
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".
On Wednesday, Ellis denied Manafort's request and ordered him moved to the Alexandria Detention Center, rejecting the notion that he would not be safe there. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned.