A federal judge ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort transferred to a detention center in Alexandria, Va., near Washington, D.C., and rejected a request from his attorneys to let their client stay at a rural jail called Northern Neck where Manafort told people he is treated like a VIP, Politico reports. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is monitoring Manafort’s calls at the jail. Manafort has been in a private cell with his own bathroom and shower, a personal telephone and daily access to a workspace where he can meet with his lawyers and prepare for his upcoming criminal trials.
Manafort’s team offered a very different picture of Manafort’s confinement conditions, telling a judge that he is “locked in his cell for at least 23 hours per day (excluding visits from his attorneys)” and that he was in “solitary confinement because the facility cannot otherwise guarantee his safety.” For now, Manafort’s Northern Virginia trial on charges of bank fraud, tax evasion and failure to report foreign bank accounts is scheduled to begin July 25. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III has scheduled oral arguments for Tuesday on Manafort’s motion to postpone the proceedings, as well as a related request for a change of venue from Alexandria to Roanoke, Virginia.