Mueller asks court for 100 more blank subpoenas ahead of Manafort trial

14 July, 2018, 01:02 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

Judge T.S. Ellis rejected those concerns in moving Manafort to Alexandria. A filing from special counsel Robert Mueller's office might shed some light on why Manafort wanted to stay where he is. Now, Manafort's team wants the trial delayed by months and moved from the Beltway to Roanoke, Va., arguing there are too many Hillary Clinton voters in Alexandria, Va., to put together an impartial jury.

Ellis also wrote that "it is suprising and confusing" when defense counsel identifies a problem "and then opposes the most logical solution to that program". "The dissonance between defendant's motion to continue and motion opposing transfer. can not be easily explained or resolved".

Still, "Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP"," Mueller's team wrote.

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 doesn't even have to wear a prison jumpsuit.

He has a personal laptop on which he can review materials from the case and access to his own workspace to meet with his legal team, they said. He denied Manafort's request to throw out from the trial evidence investigators had obtained from his apartment in Alexandria last July.

However, the attorneys balked when the judge agreed to move him to closer to the courthouse, possibly because he enjoyed "unique privileges" at his former facility, according to The New York Times.

A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned the third superseding indictment against Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik of Moscow, adding obstruction of justice charges alleging they "knowingly and intentionally attempted to corruptly persuade" two people associated with Manafort's lobbying operation "with intent to influence, delay, and prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding".

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Manafort's prosecution spawned out of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

The prosecution begged to differ, citing the 300-plus calls Manafort made to his attorneys and several others over the past three weeks. As he told someone in another monitored phone call: I have "all my files like I would at home".

"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said, according to the court filing.

Defense lawyers, in response, said the government had selected "snippets" of the conversations to support their version of events. They also flatly denied Mueller's claim about the email workaround, saying his communications are "sent by counsel in a manner that is consistent with the rules of the detention facility".

Manafort is charged with conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, tax crimes, making false statements and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. That trial is scheduled to start September 17.

Manafort has been jailed since last month after a judge revoked his house arrest.

"Manafort can hardly now complain about the order of the trials", the special counsel's attorneys said.

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