Manafort No Longer Wants To Move Jails While He Awaits Trial

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016

The subpoenas would require their recipients to testify in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria on July 25, when Manafort's trial in Virginia is set to begin. In the last three weeks alone, he's had more than 100 phone calls with his lawyers and more than 200 with other people.

Manafort has also asked for the Virginia trial to be moved to Roanoke, saying northern Virginians were too overwhelmed with news stories about the case and too hostile toward the Trump administration to give him a fair trial.

The D.C. filing came as Manafort appealed the ruling last month that sent him to jail after a federal judge ended his home detention and ordered him detained following Manafort's indictment on attempted witness tampering while he had been awaiting trial. Manafort's remarks appear to undermine his counsel's argument that detaining their client unfairly impedes their ability to prepare for trial. He also has use of a separate workspace. Contrary to Manafort's assertions, the prosecutors argued that his jail, while located two hours from Washington, had provided him with ample access to his lawyers and had not hindered his preparation for trial.

Ellis issued the order after Mueller's prosecutors challenged Manafort's complaints about the conditions in his current facility, citing visitor logs and recorded phone calls showing he was detained in comfort with nearly unfettered access to his legal team. Manafort's not required to wear a prison uniform and isn't confined to a cell from 8:30 a.m.to 10 p.m., Mueller said. 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". Manafort stands charged with over two dozen counts related to his lobbying work in Ukraine, including tax and bank fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy, failure to register as a foreign agent, and making false statements. "When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted", the filing stated. He instructed the U.S. Marshals Service to move Manafort to Alexandria, as he initially planned.

But soon after the judge issued his order, Manafort's lawyers essentially told the judge "never mind," and urged the court to keep Manafort in his current jail in Warsaw.

Ellis has not ruled on the Virginia continuance or the change of venue.