Paul Manafort appears to be living the high life—at least by prison standards. The former chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, who is currently incarcerated awaiting trial for a host of charges, is receiving special treatment in jail, according to new court filings.
In the filings, posted on Wednesday, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team pushed back against a request from Manafort for his trial to be postponed for several months. Manafort had previously argued that he can’t prepare in time because of slow-downs caused by his incarceration. But Mueller’s team said his incarceration isn’t hobbling his ability to prepare.
Manafort said in a taped phone call that he has reviewed all the materials related to discovery, according to Mueller’s team, and that he has “all my files like I would at home.” And his lawyers have visited him multiple times per week, according to visitor logs that Mueller cited.
On top of that, Mueller’s team said Manafort is getting comparatively cushy treatment and “unique privileges”: He doesn’t have to wear a prison uniform, he has a “private, self-contained living unit” that is bigger than the units for other inmates, he has his own private bathroom and shower, he has a personal phone, and he has a designated workspace for trial preparation.
“On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a ‘VIP,’” Mueller’s team wrote in the filing.
Manafort is in jail because he allegedly tried to tamper with witnesses from a public-relations firm, directing them to lie to federal investigators about lobbying work they did for the Ukrainian government alongside the president’s former campaign chairman. He was sent to jail on June 15.
Manafort has been charged with a number of crimes, including lying on his tax returns, bank fraud, obstruction of justice, illegal lobbying, and conspiracy against the United States.