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

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President Donald Trump's jailed former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has said in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, federal prosecutors said today as they argued against postponing his financial crimes trial.

Manafort asked the court to move his July 25 trial date in Virginia back to allow for more time to prepare, but Mueller's team insists that Manafort's complaint "does not warrant the expansive relief sought".

However, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court in Alexandria ordered that Manafort be transferred to the Alexandria jail "to ensure that defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense".

The jail houses about 400 inmates, and at least 140 beds are reserved for federal prisoners like Manafort.

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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.

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".

A mugshot released by the sheriff's office shows an unsmiling Manafort with graying hair and light facial stubble four weeks after the former Trump campaign chairman was locked up in a Virginia facility.

Mr. Manafort is facing trials in Washington and Virginia on tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to investigators and other charges.

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The prosecutors' filing says Manafort has everything he needs to prepare for the trial, including his own phone and computer.

Paul Manafort's lawyers are concerned about where their client is being held as he awaits trial. 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".

Though Manafort's lawyers have said he spends almost all of his days in solitary confinement, prosecutors described his living arrangements as a "private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates" units' with its own bathroom and shower. Here the judge will also consider a request to have the trial moved to another city - Manafort argues he can not get a fair trial in Alexandria due to the publicity of his case. His Washington, D.C., trial is set to kick off in September.

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