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May 04, 2018

Judge to Mueller's Team in Manafort Case: "Come On, Man," You're Just Trying to Railroad Manafort to Get to Trump

Brutal.

A federal judge on Friday harshly rebuked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during a hearing for ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort -- suggesting they lied about the scope of the investigation, are seeking "unfettered power" and are more interested in bringing down the president.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort," U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told Mueller's team. "You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever."

Further, Ellis demanded to see the unredacted "scope memo," a document outlining the scope of the special counsel’s Russia probe that congressional Republicans have also sought.

...


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.

...

Mueller's team says its authorities are laid out in documents including the August 2017 scope memo -- and that some powers are actually secret because they involve ongoing investigations and national security matters that cannot be publicly disclosed.

Ellis seemed amused and not persuaded.

He summed up the Special Counsel's Office as, "We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying."

He referenced the common exclamation from NFL announcers, saying: "C'mon man!"

This CNN article has some extended quotes:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump's "prosecution or impeachment," Ellis said.

"That's what you're really interested in," said Ellis, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

Ellis repeated his suspicion several times in the hour-long court hearing...

"We don't want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It's unlikely you're going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants," Ellis told Dreeben. "The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power."

When Dreeben answered Ellis' question about how the investigation and its charges date back to before the Trump campaign formed, the judge shot back, "None of that information has to do with information related to Russian government coordination and the campaign of Donald Trump."

In other words, how can an authorization of power written in 2017 to investigate crimes that supposedly happened in 2016 reach back to include 2005 crimes? How can 2005 crimes be said to have "arisen" out of the 2017-2018 investigation?

That's what he's talking about when he talks about "unfettered power." These prosecutors are saying they don't care what the "scope memo" says their powers are, they have All the Powerz.

Fusion GPS will be doing some vicious opposition research on the judge, maybe paying Russian sources for confabulated charges, starting within the hour.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 01:41 PM

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