Alone with walls of 'Bagel' and 'Biscuit,' Paul Manafort ponders his defense

PHOTO: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse after a hearing on May 23, 2018 in Washington, D.C.PlayMark Wilson/Getty Images, FILE
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Indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is being held in the VIP section of the Northern Neck Regional Jail, but that Very Important Person distinction offers him little comfort.

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On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered that Manafort “confined in a corrections facility separate” from others in custody at the facility. The order also states he’ll be afforded, “reasonable opportunity for private consultation” with his lawyer.

Manafort, who is accused of spending more than a million dollars in allegedly laundered money at clothing stores in New York and Beverley Hills, CA, and millions more on antiques and furnishings for his luxury homes, is now living the austere and lonely existence as inmate number 45343.

PHOTO: Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at U.S. District Court on June 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C.Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Paul Manafort arrives for a hearing at U.S. District Court on June 15, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

According to Northern Neck Superintendent Ted Hull, in the VIP sections there is “no qualitative or quantitative difference” in any cell at the facility. That means Manafort has access to the same things as other inmates.

Hull would not speak about the specifics of Manafort conditions of confinement, but noted that certain inmates are housed in specially designated cells based on a variety of conditions, including the risk that they might be victimized, certain developmental disabilities, health conditions or having a high degree of notoriety or high public interest in their case.

Cells in the section where Manafort is house are equipped with a toilet, a shower, a place to sit and a small table. The cells also have a television with some basic cable offerings and a phone that can make outgoing collect calls, Hull says.

Manafort passes each day surrounded by walls painted in two shades of brown that are used throughout the facility.

One color called “bagel” is a dark tan and covers the wall from the floor to the top of the fifth row of cinderblocks.

Above the fifth row of cinderblocks to the ceiling, the walls are painted a color called “biscuit,” described by Hull as a lighter cream, allowing for more light to be reflected.

The cell sizes are approximately between 12 x12 feet and 14 x 14 feet, Hull said.

Meals three times a day are brought to the cells of inmates like Manafort.

Inmates at the facility have access to recreational facilities, such as indoor and outdoor basketball, soccer and a gym as well as a library. Hull says the jail is working to provide email access to inmates to allow them to read incoming messages, but not send them.

Manafort arrived at his court appearance last week in a posh Range Rover – he allegedly used laundered money to pay for at least three of the luxury SUVs – but his next trip to court will likely be in the back of a government inmate transport vehicle.

The short trip from his Alexandria, Virginia condo to the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse D.C. took about 30 minutes. Hull says the trip from Northern Neck to the D.C. court will take approximately two hours.

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