14 July, 2018
Manafort was originally supposed to go to trial in Virginia on July 10.
While Manafort was not required to wear a jail-issued uniform at Northern Neck Regional Jail where he was being housed until Thursday morning, Bertsch says all inmates at the jail in Alexandria are required to wear the dark green jail jumpsuits used at that facility. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to the Alexandria Detention Center can not easily be explained or resolved".
On monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has said he's been treated like a "VIP," Mueller said.
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.
Manafort's complaints about the jail conditions were the basis for a request to delay the trial.
Manafort lawyer Jay Nanavati responded with his own court filing late Wednesday. Visitors' logs show Manafort having multiple visits each week with his lawyers, according to the prosecutors.
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In response, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III ordered Manafort moved from his current jail to one in Alexandria where the federal courthouse is located, so he could be closer to his lawyers. 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's attorneys criticized the prosecutors' descriptions of the jail conditions and his emailing tactics, saying the idea of being a VIP is exaggerated. Prosecutors with the special counsel asked the judge to jail Manafort after learning that he had attempted to contact potential government witnesses in the days after Mueller brought a superseding indictment against him.
But Ellis had apparently made up his mind.
By moving to Alexandria, Manafort will be closer to his legal team, but he probably won't retain the luxuries he had before since the facility is known for dealing with spies, terrorists and high-profile criminals. "It is surprising and confusing when the counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Ellis wrote Wednesday, adding, "Defense counsel has not identified any general or specific threat to defendant's safety at the Alexandria Detention Center". In a separate case pending in Alexandria, Virginia, he also faces bank fraud and tax-related charges.
The court document claims Manafort has "unique privileges" at the Warsaw jail. Manafort's remarks appear to undermine his counsel's argument that detaining their client unfairly impedes their ability to prepare for trial.