Paul Manafort fails to win freedom while challenging jail order

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On Tuesday, Judge T.S. Ellis III of the United States District Court in Alexandria ordered that Manafort be transferred.

Manafort's legal team argued that not only could he not get a politically fair jury in more Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia but that people in Southwest Virginia have less access to high-speed Internet and other communications, which means potential jurors there wouldn't be familiar enough with his case to prejudge it. 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".

A judge ordered the transfer after Manafort's lawyers complained it was hard for them and him to prepare for his trial because he was being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours per day in a Warsaw, Virginia, jail located a two-hour drive from his attorneys' Washington office.

Officials confirmed the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was booked Thursday morning into the Alexandria Detention Center, where he is to be tried later this month on bank and tax fraud charges. While Manafort was not required to wear a jail-issued uniform at Northern Neck Regional Jail where he was being housed until Thursday morning, Bertsch says all inmates at the jail in Alexandria are required to wear the dark green jail jumpsuits used at that facility. Prosecutors then said his living situation in the rural Virginia jail was more indulgent than what's given to other inmates.

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"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 even "developed a workaround" to send emails, which prisoners normally would not be allowed to do, according to prosecutors. Instead, a judge chose to move Manafort into more a more traditional jail situation, though he will be kept separate from other inmates for his own safety.

Ellis concluded that Manafort's ability to prepare for trial "trumps his personal comfort".

Prosecutors working for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, however, have signaled they are ready to start their case in Virginia on July 25 as planned.

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Moreover, they pointed out that Manafort told someone in a separate phone call on July 4 that he is able to consult his lawyers everyday, and that he has "all my files like I would at home".

"In order to exchange emails, he reads and composes emails on a second laptop that is shuttled in and out of the facility by his team". They added that Manafort did not raise questions about his access to his attorneys or documents to prepare his defense. But the judges overseeing both cases against Manafort recently struck down those arguments. Besides the charges of financial fraud in Virginia, he faces charges in Washington, including violating federal lobbying laws.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

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

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The 69-year old is now under arrest for bank fraud and money laundering with his criminal trial set to commence later this month.

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