Read time: 1 minute

Federal Judge Doesn't Get Why Mueller Can Go After Manafort

The hearing ended without a ruling, and Ellis didn’t say when he would decide the matter.

Well! Isn't that special. A federal judge who apparently has never seen a public corruption or organized crime trial. Via Bloomberg:

U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis III expressed deep skepticism Friday about whether Mueller went too far in signing a bank- and tax-fraud indictment against Manafort. Ellis questioned how Mueller could prosecute financial crimes dating back a decade without charging Manafort for his election activities.

“I don’t see how this indictment has anything to do with anything the special prosecutor is authorized to investigate,” Ellis said at a hearing on a motion by Manafort to dismiss the case. The hearing ended without a ruling, and Ellis didn’t say when he would decide the matter in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

The judge’s unusually provocative remarks and questions don’t necessarily indicate how he will rule, but they put Mueller’s team on the defensive. The special counsel’s office was given two weeks to deliver an unredacted version of a Justice Department memo authorizing Mueller’s work.

[...] Ellis said it appeared that prosecutors were using the indictment of Manafort to pressure him to cooperate against Trump. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty and disputes Mueller’s assertion that he violated U.S. laws when he worked for a decade as a political consultant for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis told four prosecutors working for Mueller. “You really care about what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or prosecution.”

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $20 for 2020? Please consider a one time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage

Comments

NOTE: We will be changing to a new commenting platform in the next couple of weeks. We will supply more details as we get closer to the change. We understand some users are having problems with comments loading and this will hopefully remedy that problem

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.