Paul Manafort Is Getting Transferred out of His "VIP" Prison

Posted July 14, 2018

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, who is now behind bars awaiting trial, has been moved from one detention facility to another at the request of his attorneys.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been moved to an Alexandria jail pending trial, though he had decided he wanted to remain detained in Northern Neck Virginia, a couple of hours away.

The longtime political operative is unshaven and appears to be wearing a standard-issued jumpsuit.

Spokesperson Amy Bertsch tells CNN he will likely be held in "protective custody status" - which means he would likely have no interaction with other inmates.

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According to the prosecution's filing, Manafort had enjoyed numerous "unique privileges" at the Virginia facility including access to his personal laptop and telephone. The judge had instructed jailers to let him meet with lawyers at least eight hours a day for the next two weeks. "We will work closely with the U.S. Marshals to ensure his proper care while he remains in our custody". "All these defendants were housed safely in Alexandria pending their respective trials and defendant's experience at the Alexandria Detention Center will presumably be no different".

Judge T.S. Ellis rejected those concerns in moving Manafort to Alexandria.

Manafort, 69, was transferred Thursday to the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandra, Virginia, where the Republican strategist's first of two scheduled federal criminal trials is due to start July 25.

The jail's past inmates have included Federal Bureau of Investigation agent-turned Russian spy Robert Hanssen and the terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who was involved in the plot that led to the September 11 attacks. To make their case, they cited recorded jail calls and prison logs suggesting Manafort has been getting better treatment than most detainees, not worse.

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Ellis did not agree, saying that Manafort's team had not identified any specific safety threat at the Alexandria jail and said that "defendant's access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort".

Manafort is charged with conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, tax crimes, making false statements and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal.

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