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Former Trump campaign boss Manafort no longer a 'VIP' as he gets new jail, prison jumpsuit

Dan Mangan
Mueller has asked U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis to seal the court motions detailing the witnesses, filings show.

Ex- Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort has left the jail where he recently boasted of being treated like a "VIP," and has landed in a new lockup with a new inmate outfit.

Manafort, 69, was transferred Thursday to the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandra, Virginia, where the Republican strategist's first of two scheduled federal criminal trials is due to start July 25.

A judge ordered the transfer after Manafort's lawyers complained it was difficult 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.

“Mr. Manafort’s arrival and booking process were routine," Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne told NBC News.

“Because he is a high-profile inmate, Mr. Manafort will be placed in protective custody which limits his interactions with other inmates," Lawhorne said.

"Specific details about Mr. Manafort’s confinement will not be made public due to security and privacy concerns. We will work closely with the U.S. Marshals to ensure his proper care while he remains in our custody.”

The Alexandria Detention Center houses about 400 inmates, including federal inmates under an agreement with the U.S. Marshals Service.

The jail's past inmates have included FBI agent-turned Russian spy Robert Hanssen and the terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who was involved in the plot that led to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Special treatment

Manafort's relocation came a day after prosecutors on the team of special counsel Robert Mueller detailed the special treatment Manafort had been afforded in the Warsaw jail since his $10 million bail was revoked June 15 after claims he tried to tamper with two potential witnesses for his trials.

During a recorded phone call, Manafort had bragged that jail staff was treating him like a VIP, prosecutors said in a court filing that pushed back against claims that he was not able to prepare for his trial.

At his former jail, he was kept in "a private, self-contained living unit" that is bigger than his fellow inmates' spaces, had "his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone, and his own workplace to prepare for trial," prosecutors said in a court filing.

And he was not requred to wear a prison uniform in the Warsaw jail, the filing said.

"Manafort also possesses a personal laptop that he is permitted to use in his unit," prosecutors wrote.

Despite having griped about the conditions at Warsaw, and the distance, Manafort's lawyers had tried to get U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis to reverse his order transferring him to the Alexandria jail.

Ellis brushed aside those worries in a new order, saying that officials at the federal lockup in Alexandria have experience handling inmates such as "foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors."

Ellis also wrote that "it is suprising and confusing" when defense counsel identifies a problem "and then opposes the most logical solution to that program."

Manafort is charged with conspiracy, money laundering, bank fraud, tax crimes, making false statements and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal. Those charges relate to consulting and lobbying work he did on behalf of pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.

He additionally is charged with obstruction of justice, which relates to the allegations of attempted witness tampering.