Donald Trump is once again being reminded that no one is above the law and that the crimes against himself and his team are being taken seriously by America’s legal system.
Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been trying to fight being moved to another jail over concerns for his “safety” and today, Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Judge T.S. Ellis threw his pleas out the window by denying those requests. Against Manafort’s wishes, he will be moved from a jail in Warsaw, Va. to the Alexandria Detention Center.
Manafort’s lawyers had been complaining that their client’s current location was 100 miles from them, interfering with their trial preparations. As a solution, Ellis ordered Manafort to be moved to the Alexandria facility, which Manafort tried to (unsuccessfully) oppose.
When Manafort’s legal team argued that their client’s safety would be at risk in the new jail, Ellis’ response proved he couldn’t care less. In fact, Ellis totally trolled Manafort and his team, stating that the professionals at Alexandria Detention Center are perfectly capable of handling “foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors.” Trump should be highly concerned about Ellis’ comments:
Defense counsel has filed a motion opposing [Manafort’s] transfer from Northern Neck to Alexandria, despite having just complained about the defendant being housed at Northern Neck. In the motion, defense counsel states that ‘issues of distance and inconvenience must yield to concerns about [Manafort’s] safety and, more importantly, the challenges he will face in adjusting to a new place of confinement and the changing circumstances.’
However, defense counsel has not identified any general or specific threat to defendant’s safety. They have not done so, because the professionals at Alexandria Detention Center are very familiar with housing high-profile defendants, including foreign and domestic terrorists, spies and traitors.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, look at what Ellis stated in the footnote:
Manafort and his lawyers were upset because they actually wanted to move Manafort’s trial to Roanoke for strategic reasons, as University of Alabama Law Professor Joyce Vance pointed out:
Manafort's true aim is to move his trial to Roanoke, apparently believing he will benefit from a more conservative jury pool. Apparently, the Judge isn't buying any of it & has scheduled Manafort in court in Alexandria the morning of July 25. No change in trial date or location. https://t.co/ZrIBiHmlqW
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) July 11, 2018
Manafort and his lawyers — as well as the president himself — have just gotten a harsh reminder of how screwed they are.