Not the slam dunk Mueller was counting on.
Via Fox News:
One of the most highly talked about cases of the year is taking place inside Judge T.S. Ellis’ courtroom – and he’s making sure Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team knows it.
Mueller’s team has leveled multiple charges of tax and bank fraud against Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, particularly pertaining to his political work in Ukraine.
But while Manafort is the one on trial, the prosecution has often been on the receiving end of Ellis’ rebukes. The judge has lashed out at them for a variety of alleged missteps, from how they address him to how they’ve sought to portray the defendant.
Ellis has also cautioned the team about the high bar set for conviction; prosecutors have to prove Manafort knowingly violated bank and tax laws related to his political work overseas.
Here’s a look at some of the more colorful comments Ellis has directed toward Mueller’s team and key witnesses.
Ellis seemed to suggest a prosecutor was so discouraged he was crying in his courtroom.
“I understand how frustrated you are. In fact, there’s tears in your eyes right now,” Ellis said Monday, according to a Bloomberg-obtained transcript.
When the prosecutor, Greg Andres, denied Ellis’ claim, the judge said, “Well, they’re watery.”
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Before the exchange, Ellis had rebuked Andres for not looking at him while he was talking.
“Look at me! Don’t look down,” Ellis said.
When Andres said he was looking at a document, Ellis said “that’s B.S.”
And on Wednesday, Ellis chastised Andres again for how he speaks to him. At one point, Andres responded with a simple “yea.”
“Be careful about that, this is not an informal proceeding,” Ellis warned.
In May, Ellis accused Mueller’s team of caring more about a Trump impeachment than prosecuting Manafort for alleged crimes. He also suggested the team was seeking “unfettered power” in its investigation.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort,” Ellis said during the preliminary hearing. “You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
Ellis also questioned the scope of the investigation, saying, “We don’t want anyone with unfettered power.”