Robert Mueller ‘Cited’ for Prosecutorial Over Reach
Friday, the sitting federal judge in open court challenged special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, scolding prosecutors for squeezing the former campaign manager to get information that would help impeach President Donald Trump.
“The vernacular is, ‘to Sing,'” Judge T.S. Ellis III, a Ronald Reagan appointee, told prosecutors in the Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom.
Judge Ellis, hearing motion-to-dismiss arguments in the Virginia case in which Mr. Mueller’s team has charged Mr. Manafort with filing false income tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud sited the prosecution of over reaching in its efforts to ‘get President Trump at all cost’.
The charges relate to work he did for the government of Ukraine.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Judge Ellis said during the hearing. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”
Judge Ellis did not rule on the motion, saying he wants to see unredacted versions of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s orders assigning special counsel before he can issue a ruling.
Judge Ellis gave prosecutors 2 weeks to provide.
Prosecutors told Judge Ellis their instructions from Mr. Rosenstein are not just in the memos he seeks, but said some are secret and should not be available for public scrutiny because of ongoing investigations and national security concerns.
Judge Ellis seemed amused by that, framing the prosecution’s case back to them.
“We said this is what the investigation was about but we are not bound by it and we were lying. C’mon, man!” Judge Ellis said, using an expression often used by football announcers.
It appears now that the Judge will get the real documents without reactions, and that the prosecutorial over reach will spiral in to a formal case of prosecutorial misconduct and the charges against Mr. Manafort dismissed or at least substantially reduced, thus undermining the scope of Robert Mueller’s ‘witch hunt”.