Paul Manafort treated as prison 'VIP', to be moved

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

"It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem", Judge T.S. Ellis wrote in a separate filing published Wednesday. "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to the Alexandria Detention Center can not easily be explained or resolved".

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"Apparently, but unsurprisingly, the Special Counsel has taken the time to assign personnel to listen to all of the non-privileged phone calls Mr. Manafort makes from jail", they said.

"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said, according to the court filing. "There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there's a hope to it".

In recent phone calls, they say Manafort also has said he has "all my files like I would at home", has "gone through all the discovery now", and is being treated like a "VIP".

Prosecutors says he is being held in a private living unit larger than where other inmates stay that has its own bathroom, shower, telephone and workspace, and he has a laptop with an extension cord he can use daily in his room at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia.

According to prosecutors, the 69-year-old also boasted about having access to a personal laptop and telephone - which he used to make hundreds of phone calls.

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The government said Mr. Manafort's conditions are not "more restrictive than other inmates" and in various ways, "less restrictive". He has not reached out, they said in court filings.

On Wednesday, Ellis issued another written order denying Manafort's request and he should be moved to the Alexandria detention center. Regarding how he's prepared for trial, prosecutors heard him say on a taped call that he's reviewed all evidence before his trial, met with his lawyers every day and has "all my files like I would at home", the filing says. He has pleaded not guilty.

Manafort's trial in Virginia is expected to begin later this month.

The developments came as Manafort gets closer to two trials where he will defend himself against a number of charges ranging from bank fraud to failing to register as a foreign agent for lobbying work for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine.

Manafort has also argued that his trial should be moved from Alexandria to Roanoke, where jurors are more likely to support the president, his attorneys told the court.

But Mueller's office appeared to throw cold water on several of Manafort's arguments in Wednesday's filing opposing Manafort's request.

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