Prosecutors: Manafort treated like 'VIP' in jail with own bathroom, phone

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Ellis, a 77-year-old Ronald Reagan appointee, expressed skepticism that Mueller's team actually cares about the former Trump campaign chairman's alleged crimes, saying, "I don't see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate".

In ordering his transfer to Alexandria, Judge T.S. Ellis wrote, "The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors".

"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 legal team said. Manafort might be aware of this, so no wonder he's not looking particularly cheery about his current situation.

Robert Mueller's prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that Manafort's jail in Warsaw had been more than accommodating: he has a personal phone in his cell, which he's used to make more than 300 phone calls to his lawyers and others within the past three weeks; he's found a way to work around the jail's ban on email; and he has his own bathroom, shower, and work space, according to Reuters.

"On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a 'VIP, '" prosecutors quoted him as having said. Manafort faces over 20 criminal charges on offenses including bank fraud, tax fraud, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators. Manafort's lawyers have asked a judge to relocate a criminal trial starting later this month because of pretrial publicity. "Manafort remarked in a taped prison call that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day".

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Earlier this week, the judge had ordered Manafort be moved from the Northern Neck jail, more than 100 miles away from his lawyers, to the Alexandria Detention Center near the courthouse.

Mueller argued today that the revocation of Manafort's bail has not been "unduly interfering with his ability to prepare for trial", especially as his living circumstances are "in various ways less restrictive" than for other inmates.

Defense attorneys voiced those concerns in a motion last week asking for the case to be pushed back to this fall, after Manafort goes on trial on related charges in District of Columbia federal court.

Wednesday's special counsel filing also reveals that Mueller's team has been recording calls from Manafort's private phone, and are now using Manafort's own words against him.

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