US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis Rebukes Mueller’s Team for Targeting Trump in Manafort Case
US District Court Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, sharply rebuked Special Counsel Mueller’s team on Friday for attempting to use the case against Paul Manafort to find dirt on Trump. When the Judge learned that the charges against Manafort were from a case several years ago that had nothing whatever to do with Russia or Trump, he demanded an unredacted copy of the “scope” memo from Rod Rosenstein regarding the actual boundaries of the Mueller investigation.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort. You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.” Judge Ellis
Fox reported, (emphasis mine)
The hearing, where Manafort’s team fought to dismiss an 18-count indictment on tax and bank fraud-related charges, took a confrontational turn as it was revealed that at least some of the information in the investigation derived from an earlier Justice Department probe – in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Manafort’s attorneys argue the special counsel does not have the power to indict him on the charges they have brought – and seemed to find a sympathetic ear with Ellis.
The Reagan-appointed judge asked Mueller’s team where they got the authority to indict Manafort on alleged crimes dating as far back as 2005.
The special counsel argues that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted them broad authority in his May 2, 2017 letter appointing Mueller to this investigation. But after the revelation that the team is using information from the earlier DOJ probe, Ellis said that information did not “arise” out of the special counsel probe – and therefore may not be within the scope of that investigation.
In other words, it’s overreach by the Mueller team. The judge was not happy with the Mueller team’s response, as they claimed they had a wide scope of power to conduct their so-called “investigation.”
“We don’t want anyone with unfettered power.” Judge Ellis The judge also said that the team appeared to be lying by their responses that were akin to ‘We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.’
The judge even used the term, “C’mon, Man!”
He gave the government 2 weeks to produce the unredacted scope memo from Rosenstein. The DOJ has been reluctant to release it, saying that it has information on other things not pertinent to Manafort. A redacted copy was given to Congress, but it had little information in it.
This indicates that the Mueller investigation may have some holes in it. The safety of Judge Ellis at this juncture is paramount. These are not nice sweet people he’s up against- they are connected to the Clintons.
This article has been corrected to refer to the Judge’s name.