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

14 July 2018
Mueller asks court for 100 more blank subpoenas ahead of Manafort trial

Manafort, 69, was transferred Thursday to the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandra, Virginia, where the Republican strategist's first of two scheduled federal criminal trials is due to start July 25.

Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Trump, has been jailed at Northern Neck Regional Jail since a judge denied bail. Judge Ellis initially ordered on Tuesday that Manafort should be moved closer to the Washington, D.C., area "to ensure that defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense".

The occasion of the mugshot was that Manafort was moved to a jail in Alexandria, Virginia thanks to his attorneys in a move that can only be described as a "clusterfuck".

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 "VIP" to one where his lawyers claim he is anxious about his safety.

In fact, Manafort has reported, in a taped prison call, that he has reviewed all discovery: Just days before filing his motion for a continuance, Manafort told the person on the call that, "I've gone through all the discovery now". In Northern Neck facility, where Manafort was held previously, he had a private phone and computer and did not have to wear a uniform, according to prosecutors.

Manafort lawyer Jay Nanavati responded with his own court filing late Wednesday.

"Think about how it'll play elsewhere", Manafort said in a recorded phone call from jail cited by prosecutors.

"Manafort should not be permitted to obtain a two- or three-month continuance based on circumstances he has never challenged or sought relief from, in spite of repeated invitations to do so", prosecutors wrote.

Manafort has had hundreds of phone calls with his lawyers and even more with others and has sent emails through his lawyers to outside contacts, the special counsel's office wrote in the filing.

Paul Manafort's complaints about his life in jail backfired spectacularly Wednesday. He had asked for a postponement until after a separate trial in Washington, D.C., where he faces similar charges. They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense.

While the judge has ordered Manafort to change jails, he hasn't ruled on the larger motion to delay the trial.

The special counsel said Manafort's actions violated federal law, and therefore violated the terms of his pretrial release. More recently, investigators charged that Manafort had tampered with witnesses in the lobbying case.

Manafort asked to delay the trial in Alexandria, until after he's been tried in Washington, where he's accused of failing to register in the an agent of Ukraine, laundering millions of dollars and obstruction of justice. Contrary to Manafort's assertions, the prosecutors argued that his jail, while located two hours from Washington, had provided him with ample access to his lawyers and had not hindered his preparation for trial. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Hull said that when jail officials learned Manafort was communicating by email, his attorneys were told to stop the practice.