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Is the Robert Hanssen suite available?

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Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

The story so far: After talking his way out of house arrest and into prison, Paul Manafort talked his way out of the Warsaw, Va. prison where he was being held by claiming it was too far from his legal team. Judge T.S. Ellis, III agreed and said he would be moved to the Alexandria Detention Center in Alexandria, Va.

Good, yes?

No. Bad. Why can’t the stupid judge understand that Manafort wants to go home? So Manafort tried to talk his way out of being moved by claiming the move posed an unspecified safety risk.

Surprisingly, the judge was less than enamored with this argument.

“However, defense counsel has not identified any general or specific threat to defendant’s safety,” he continued. “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.”

Oops.

In a footnote to his ruling, Ellis cast a little more shade.

It is surprising and confusing when counsel identifies a problem and then opposes the most logical solution to that problem. The dissonance between defendant’s motion to continue and motion opposing transfer to Alexandria Detention Center cannot be easily explained or resolved.

People like Manafort make me wonder if pissing off judges is a sport. Or perhaps a fetish. But then I remember my Pratchett:

We’ve always been privileged, you see. Privilege just means ‘private law.’ That’s exactly what it means. He just doesn’t believe the ordinary laws apply to him. He really believes they can’t touch him, and that if they do he can just shout until they go away.

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