Hoping to delay his trial in Virginia on charges of bank fraud and money laundering, Paul Manafort instead managed this week to get himself transferred from a jail where prosecutors said he described his treatment as “V.I.P.” to one where his lawyers claim he is worried about his safety.
Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has been incarcerated since June 15 in a regional jail in rural Virginia about two hours south of Washington. Prosecutors said Wednesday in a court filing that Mr. Manafort had “unique privileges” there, including a larger-than-average cell, “his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone and his own work space to prepare for trial.” He also was not required to wear a prison uniform and was allowed to use his laptop in his cell, they said.
But Mr. Manafort’s lawyers, in a motion that sought to delay his July 25 trial, argued in part that they had to travel 100 miles to meet with their client. Phone calls with him were limited to 10 minutes, and electronic communications were restricted, they said.
Judge T. S. Ellis III of the United States District Court in Alexandria, Va., who has been assigned the case, fashioned a remedy. On Tuesday, he ordered that Mr. Manafort be transferred to a jail in Alexandria, about 20 minutes from Washington, “to ensure that defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense.”
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