Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort is being moved from a rural Virginia jail to one closer to Washington.
Manafort, whose bail was revoked by a federal judge in Washington amid allegations of witness tampering, complained that restrictions at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw and its distance from the courthouse made it hard for him to prepare for trial.
On Tuesday, a different federal judge ordered him transferred to a detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, "to ensure that defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense."
Manafort is awaiting separate trials in two jurisdictions — Washington and Alexandria — on a raft of fraud, money laundering and other charges stemming from his lucrative lobbying work in Ukraine. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.
Manafort was put on house arrest after his indictment. But last month, prosecutors alleged that he and a Russian associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, used encrypted messages to reach out to witnesses in one of the cases.
"I cannot turn a blind eye to this," Judge Amy Berman Jackson told him before revoking his bail.
U.S. Marshals brought him to Northern Neck in Warsaw, about 100 miles from Washington, where he was put in a self-contained so-called VIP unit that once housed former NFL star Michael Vick. His lawyers said it amounted to solitary confinement and inhibited his ability to meet with them.
Amy Bertsch, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria Sheriff"s Office, said she did not know what kind of accommodations Manafort would have at the facility. It usually holds just under 400 prisoners, who wear olive-green jumpsuits emblazoned with the word "inmate."
"We've held other high-profile inmates," Bertsch said, naming 9/11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui, former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and FBI turncoat Robert Hanssen.