Judge rules Paul Manafort can wear suit instead of prison uniform to court Friday

Manafort, whose lavish taste in suits was the subject of scrutiny during his 2018 trial, has previously made similar requests. At least one was denied.
Image: Paul Manafort
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign chief, arrives for a hearing at US District Court in Washington, DC on June 15, 2018.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images file

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By Adiel Kaplan

Paul Manafort will wear a suit instead of a prison uniform when he goes to court Friday for a hearing on his alleged lies to special counsel Robert Mueller.

On Thursday a judge granted Manafort's request to wear a suit to the hearing scheduled for Friday and "any future court appearances in this matter."

Manafort, whose lavish taste in suits was the subject of scrutiny during his criminal trial last year, has previously made similar requests, at least one of which was denied. Prosecutors said Manafort had spent millions on a luxurious lifestyle, including nearly a million on custom suits alone between 2010 and 2014.

The former Trump campaign manager showed up for one hearing at federal court in Virginia in a wheelchair, wearing his green prison jumpsuit and one shoe. His lawyer gave the explanation that, "There are significant issues with Mr. Manafort’s health concerning confinement."

Jackets included in the government's exhibits admitted into evidence at the trial of Paul Manafort.NBC News

Mueller's team has accused Manafort of violating the terms of his plea deal. After agreeing to cooperate in the Russia probe, Manafort misled the special counsel's investigators about his contact with Konstantin Kilimnik, according to a sentencing memo filed in November. Kilimnik, a political operative with ties to Russian intelligence, worked closely with Manafort in Ukraine.

Manafort also lied to the special counsel's office when he claimed that Kilimnik, who has been charged with obstruction of justice, played no role in an effort to coerce witness testimony after Manafort was indicted last year, the memo says.

His lawyers have filed a response disputing the allegation. Friday's hearing will be the first on his alleged lies to the special counsel.