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

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

"The professionals at the Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors", U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III wrote in an order Wednesday.

Northern Neck Regional Jail Superintendent Ted Hull denied that Manafort was treated differently than prior occupants of the private living unit, which is reserved for "management problematic" inmates. Still, when Alexandria federal judge T.S. Ellis III ordered him transferred to a facility closer to the courthouse, the former global political consultant rebelled, arguing he was better off staying put. Despite saying in monitored phone calls that he is being treated like a "VIP" while behind bars, Manafort's lawyers have argued that they can not properly prepare for a trial scheduled to start this month with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C.

Officials confirm the former Trump campaign chairman was booked Thursday morning into the Alexandria Detention Center in Virginia, a complex of low-slung brick buildings just off the Capital Beltway and a few blocks from the federal courthouse where he will be tried later this month on bank and tax fraud charges. They say Manafort has not been required to wear a prison uniform, and has a private telephone, a separate workspace and access to two laptops.

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

The defense team also criticized Mueller's apparent use of personnel to monitor Manafort's non-privileged phone calls.

The document said Manafort enjoys "VIP" privileges at the prison he's incarcerated in, has had over 100 phone calls with his lawyers, and is able to write and receive emails, among other things. To make their case, they cited recorded jail calls and prison logs suggesting Manafort has been getting better treatment than most detainees, not worse.

More news: Last five trapped in Thai cave will be brought out on Tuesday

"Review of that material can be accomplished well in advance of the July 25 trial date and does not warrant a months-long adjournment", the government filings said. The judge added that Manafort's "access to counsel and his ability to prepare for trial trumps his personal comfort".

Ellis has not yet ruled on Manafort's request to postpone his Virginia trial until after his D.C. trial has taken place in September. Phone calls with him were limited to 10 minutes, and electronic communications were restricted, they said. He was ordered to jail ahead of his trial after prosecutors accused him of contacting witnesses to influence their testimony.

Initially placed under house arrest, Manafort was ordered to jail by a judge in mid-June for alleged witness tampering. Besides the charges of financial fraud in Virginia, he faces charges in Washington, including violating federal lobbying laws. But the judges overseeing both cases against Manafort recently struck down those arguments.

Manafort has mounted an aggressive defense against the special counsel, arguing that Mueller's mandate was too broad and that he was not authorized to charge Manafort with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

But Manafort's legal team didn't complain until the last minute, the US said.

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