Judge Gives Paul Manafort Justice He RICHLY DESERVES
Paul Manafort has topped up the meter with his lawyers and they are cranking out more motions. Hooray! When last we left our our hero, he was dumping a giant stack of papers on Judge Ellis's desk, begging to be sprung from the pokey and to have his trial moved to Trumpland, where the yokels only use their teevees to watch The 700 Club and Nascar.
Manafort's trial begins in less than two weeks, but how can he possibly prepare when he's locked up in Great Neck, 100 miles away from his lawyers? George Washington cries if a man gets thrown in the slammer for typing words on his phone! Does the Constitution say anything about using an encrypted app to coach witnesses? CHECK AND MATE!
The Northern Neck Regional Jail is located approximately 100 miles away from Mr. Manafort's attorneys' offices and it generally takes over two hours each way by car for counsel to visit with him. No electronic communication is permitted (e.g., to allow for the transmission of documents for Mr. Manafort to review), and telephonic communication is restricted to ten (10) minutes per call.2 This unforeseen development has severely impacted the ability of the defense to effectively prepare for the upcoming trial before this Court.
More specifically, Mr. Manafort's current detention has made meetings with his attorneys to prepare his defense far more infrequent and enormously time-consuming compared to when he remained on house arrest and subject to GPS monitoring in Alexandria, Virginia, pursuant to this Court's release order.
So Judge Ellis ordered Manafort transferred to jail in Alexandria right near his lawyers. Problem solved, right?
Not so fast, said Pavel Manfortchikoffnitsky. Actually, it's not the distance. It's the being in jail part that makes it impossible to prepare for a trial.
However, the concerns underlying the request for a continuance, while specifically noting the substantial distance between Northern Neck regional jail and Alexandria, were, at bottom, aimed more at the difficulty of preparing for trial given Mr. Manafort's detention versus his prior status on pretrial release.
So, Judge Ellis can please rescind his order and let Manafort go home, yes?
To which the Mueller team responded with an LOLOLOL Motion. First of all, the balls on this guy waiting until the last minute to pretend he can't possibly prepare for his trial from a jail cell, when they got his sorry ass on tape bragging to his pals about how prepared he is.
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." And he has had extensive access to his counsel and materials: On July 4, 2018, Manafort remarked in a taped prison call that he is able to visit with his lawyers every day, and that he has "all my files like I would at home."
And he can flog that POOR PAUL IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT line to the wingnuts, but he better not try that shit with the court.
Specifically, contrary to Manafort's assertions about his jail conditions, Manafort is in a private unit in which he can review materials and prepare for trial.3 Moreover, he is not confined to a cell. Between the hours of 8:30am to 10:00pm, Manafort has access to a separate workroom at the jail to meet with his attorneys and legal team. Visitor logs from the prison indicate that each week Manafort has had multiple visits with his legal team.
Manafort also has a personal telephone in his unit, which he can use over twelve hours a day to speak with his attorneys.
According to prison telephone logs, in the last three weeks Manafort has had over 100 phone calls with his attorneys, and another 200 calls with other persons. Those telephone logs indicate Manafort has spoken to his attorneys every day, and often multiple times a day. Manafort also possesses a personal laptop that he is permitted to use in his unit to review materials and prepare for trial. The jail has made extra accommodations for Manafort's use of the laptop, including providing him an extension cord to ensure the laptop can be used in his unit and not just in the separate workroom. [Footnotes omitted.]
He's got some chutzpah pretending he's a pauper subsisting on bread and water, lonely and staring at the bare walls of his cell contemplating the injustice of it all.
Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates' units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workspace to prepare for trial. Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform. On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a "VIP."
FFS! No wonder that guy doesn't want to be transferred to GenPop in Alexandria! They might not let him send those sneaky emails he's been bragging about on his monitored phone calls. Really, the man is a GENIUS.
Although the jail does not allow prisoners to send or receive emails, Manafort appears to have developed a workaround. Manafort has revealed on the monitored phone calls that 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. When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it reconnects to the internet and Manafort's emails are transmitted.
And the prosecutors' motion failed to mention this part, so Yr Wonkette will:
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A POOR OR BROWN PERSON WHO GOT TREATED LIKE THIS. AND THE ONLY INJUSTICE IS THE MILLIONS OF AMERICANS LOCKED UP FOR STUPID SHIT, IN UNSAFE CONDITIONS, WITHOUT ADEQUATE COUNSEL, MANY OF THEM IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.
Done! We are done with this shit. And so is Judge Ellis!
Good luck recreating those sweet digs in Alexandria, Paulie. Looks like that strategy to blitz the judge with useless motions to gum up the works is really paying off!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.