Things aren’t so bad for Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, even though his lawyers want you to believe they are.
Manafort currently resides in Northern Neck Regional Jail, in Warsaw, Virginia. He has two court dates ahead of him, one at the end of July relating to bank fraud and tax charges, as well as one in September dealing with his acting as an unregistered foreign agent with Ukraine, money laundering, and obstruction of justice.
Because he’s in solitary confinement (which was court ordered after he attempted to interfere with witnesses involved in the Russia investigation), Manafort’s lawyers argued that they were unable to meet with their client to prepare his case for the July 25 court date. They’re seeking a delay for that case.
But most people would probably look at Manafort’s prison accommodations and think his request for a delay is misplaced, considering what his conditions actually are.
Manafort, apart from his fellow inmates, has his own bathroom and shower facilities. He also has a monitored telephone, a laptop computer, and a workspace for preparing for his trial. Manafort is also allowed access to a separate meeting room where he can discuss the case with his lawyers directly.
That’s a pretty posh living situation — an observation that Manafort himself has made. According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, which has access to his monitored phone conversations, Manafort said he was receiving the “VIP” treatment in his quarters.
As a general rule, we should reject solitary confinement for most situations. The practice results in producing disastrous outcomes in prisoners that go beyond the threshold of cruel and unusual punishment.
But Manafort, it seems, is the exception to the rule. His conditions are more lavish than severe, and his “solitary” is anything but that, as he has access to speaking with his lawyers at a moment’s notice. Demands for delaying his trial are, simply put, uncalled for.