Judge T.S. Ellis has granted Paul Manafort’s request to move to a jail closer to the Washington, D.C. area so he can better prepare for his trial.
Manafort is currently being held in custody at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, located more than 100 miles from Alexandria, Virginia, where his trial will be held later this month.
Ellis ordered that Manafort be transported from Northern Neck to the Alexandria Detention Center until his trial “to ensure the defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense,” he wrote in the court filing.
The decision was in response to a series of requests Manafort made late Friday, seeking to delay his trial due to challenges in preparing while in jail and to move the trial to Roanoke, Virginia, a more politically “balanced” part of the state.
In the Virginia case, Manafort faces charges of bank and tax fraud. He’s also set to stand trial in Washington, D.C. in September, facing money laundering and failure to register as a foreign lobbyist charges. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Manafort’s bail was revoked last month by the judge overseeing his case in Washington, D.C. after special counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of trying to interfere with a witness. Manafort is being held in solitary confinement in the Northern Neck jail to ensure his safety, and his lawyers complained to the judge overseeing Manafort’s case in Washington, D.C. that the situation made it challenging to prepare for trial.
He will likely be placed in protective custody when he arrives at the Alexandria Detention Center, given his high profile status, Alexandria Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Amy Bertsch told TPM Tuesday. Once Manafort arrives at the new facility, he will go through the jail’s intake process, which includes a new booking. If placed in protective custody, he’ll have limited contact with other inmates and will get two hours outside of his cell each day, she said.
Read the order from Ellis below: