Judge Accuses Mueller Team of Prosecuting Manafort to Get Info on Trump
- Author: Sonia Alvarado May 05, 2018,
May 05, 2018, 1:35
Manafort is the subject of two indictments from the special counsel Robert Mueller's office.
Manafort has filed a similar motion in D.C. federal court, where he also faces charges of money laundering, failing to appropriately inform the government of foreign lobbying work, and making false statements.
Trump, in his speech to the NRA, read from news reports on Ellis' remarks approvingly, particularly quotes from the judge that asked what the charges had to do with the campaign - considering they indicted Manafort on alleged crimes dating back as far back as 2005.
District Judge T.S. Ellois said he believed that Mueller's motivation is to oust President Donald Trump from office.
The otherwise skeptical judge has not indicated whether he is inclined to dismiss the case against Manafort for jurisdictional reasons, asserting that "I'm not saying it's illegitimate".
"I don't see what relation this indictment has with what the special counsel is authorized to investigate", Ellis told prosecutors working for Mueller.
Manafort's team has argued that Rosenstein inappropriately gave Mueller a "blank check" to investigate a "potpourri of purported misdeeds that have nothing to do with alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government".
Manafort is charged with tax crimes and bank fraud in the federal case set to begin trial July 10 in Alexandria, Va.
Trump furious about Russian Federation investigation's questions and 'phony crime'
Trump's lawyers are careful to say that the President hasn't shut the door to a possible agreement for an interview. The threat to issue a subpoena, as it is known, was reportedly met with a sharp response from one of Mr.
"The vernacular is to 'sing, ' is what prosecutors use".
Manafort and his lawyers have mounted an aggressive defense in recent months.
Experts also pointed out that Mueller did what any other prosecutor would have done during the course of an investigation.
Prosecutors countered in their own filing that an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government "would naturally cover ties that a former Trump campaign manager had to Russian-associated political operatives, Russian-backed politicians, and Russian oligarchs".
He also asked the special counsel's office to share privately with him a copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein's August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of Mueller's Russian Federation probe. Mueller's team revealed the memo's existence in court filings, but the vast majority of it is redacted.
Eventually, Manafort was hired by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a controversial pro-Russia politician who was ousted from power twice. If a judge throws out the one substantial and serviceable indictment he's produced over ethical questions, it will undermine Mueller's reputation and that of his investigation, perhaps fatally in terms of prompting congressional intervention against Donald Trump. They also said they had additional authority that they could not disclose in the courtroom because it related to ongoing investigations and could affect national security.
"Come on, man!" Ellis said.