Paul Manafort Is Depressed in Jail, Lawyers Say

By Kelly Burch 01/11/19

Manafort has been in jail for more than six months, after a judge revoked his bail in June.

Paul Manafort
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Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, is not faring well in jail, where he is being held while he awaits his sentencing in February on charges of financial fraud and conspiracy, according to his lawyers. 

“He . . . suffers from depression and anxiety and, due to the facility’s visitation regulations, has had very little contact with his family,” Manafort’s lawyers wrote in court filings that were reported by The New York Post. Because he is so high profile, Manafort is being held in solitary confinement, which has “taken a toll on his physical and mental health,” his lawyers said. 

In addition to depression and anxiety, Manafort is also battling gout, an arthritic inflammation of the joints that is usually associated with a heavy diet that includes red meats, seafood and alcohol. 

“For several months Mr. Manafort has suffered from severe gout, at times confining him to a wheelchair,” the lawyers wrote. In October, Manafort appeared at a court date in a wheelchair, with his foot bandaged.

His lawyer, Kevin Downing, asked the judge to sentence Manafort quickly, so he could be moved from a detention center to a federal prison. Downing told the judge that Manafort has “significant” health issues that were made worse by the "terms of his confinement."

Manafort has been in jail for more than six months, after a judge revoked his bail in June. He could face years in federal prison from his convictions. 

In July, a judge ordered that Manafort be moved from one facility that was reportedly giving him special treatment to a city jail in Alexandria, Virginia. 

“On the monitored prison phone calls, Manafort has mentioned that he is being treated like a ‘VIP,’” a court filing by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team alleged. “Among the unique privileges Manafort enjoys at the jail are a private, self-contained living unit, which is larger than other inmates’ units, his own bathroom and shower facility, his own personal telephone and his own workspace to prepare for trial. Manafort is also not required to wear a prison uniform.”

Manafort was even able to send emails from the facility. 

“In order to exchange emails, he reads and composes emails on a second laptop that is shuttled in and out of the facility by his team. When the team takes the laptop from the jail, it re-connects to the internet and Manafort’s emails are transmitted,” court documents showed. 

Manafort was in the news again this week after his lawyers accidentally released paperwork that appears to show he met with a Russian spy when he was working on the Trump campaign. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.