Paul Manafort is in the process of being transferred to Virginia’s Alexandria Detention Center to allow greater communication with his counsel. The transfer was accompanied with a new mugshot and transcripts of communications by Manafort on monitored prison telephones. This all occurs as an appellate court has turned down Manafort’s bid for an immediate release.
As described in the government’s motion,
Manafort is captured on the calls saying that he was being treated as a “VIP” at Northern Neck with “unique privileges.” He was given a private, self-contained cell with a private bathroom and shower, a personal telephone and daily access between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. to a workspace. That will change at Alexandria.
Indeed, after complaining about Northern Neck, the defense team seemed to switch positions and oppose the transfer — leaving the court incredulous: “It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem.”
In one call, Manafort defends Washington, D.C. as a forum for his trial despite questions over hostility in the jury pool. He states “Think about how it’ll play elsewhere . . . There is a strategy to it, even in failure, but there’s a hope in it.” It is not clear what he is referring to as the “strategy to it.”
He also says “I’ve gone through all the discovery now” — a statement that undermined the claim of the need for a transfer to review the discovery.
Manafort’s recorded calls are surprising additions to the record given Manafort’s moronic calls to potential witnesses — calls that led to the revocation of his bail and home confinement.