Paul Manafort arrives at court after witness tampering charges

Paul Manafort says he's being treated 'like a VIP' in jail

Manafort treated as prison ‘VIP’ with his own bathroom, shower, and phone

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.

The transfer was ordered after Manafort's attorneys complained that being held in a jail so far away from Alexandria, the location of the July 25 trial, was impeding his ability to prepare for the trial. Since then, Manafort's lawyers have said they can not properly prepare for a trial scheduled to start later this month with a client jailed two hours outside of Washington, D.C.

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

Previously, they had described him as being kept in "solitary confinement" nearly 24 hours a day for his own safety.

Manafort, who asked for a delay citing a lack of access to his lawyers, had more than 100 phone calls with his attorneys in the past three weeks, is housed in a self-contained unit with his own bathroom, shower facility, personal telephone and workspace, Mueller said.

In their court filing today, prosecutors sought to pick apart Manafort's arguments that he needs to delay the trial because of his jail conditions. In Alexandria, there are no private electronics for inmates, and Manafort was wearing a green jumpsuit when his mug shot was taken Thursday. He also has a personal laptop, they say, with an extension cord so he can use it in his unit and not just the workroom.

Manafort was originally supposed to go to trial in Virginia on July 10.

Judge Ellis set a July 17 hearing to discuss Manafort's request to continue the Virginia trial and change venues to Richmond, Virginia. Manafort claimed he can't get a fair trial in Alexandria because of the publicity generated by his case. As he told someone in another monitored phone call: I have "all my files like I would at home". Visitors' logs show Manafort having multiple visits each week with his lawyers, according to the prosecutors.

Defense lawyers, in response, said the government had selected "snippets" of the conversations to support their version of events.

Prosecutors also said Manafort knew his refusal to let the Virginia bank and tax-fraud charges be combined with the D.C. case would likely lead to this schedule. That trial is scheduled to start September 17.

The judge wasn't swayed, and he again ordered Manafort to move jails. The judge nevertheless said in a June 21 order that Manafort must be given "reasonable opportunity for private consultation with counsel".

Manafort has faced an uphill legal battle.

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