Judge in Manafort case says Mueller’s aim is to hurt Trump

(CNN) Analysis judge expressed deep skepticism Fri of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the bank fraud situation against former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, at one stage saying he believes that Mueller’s motivation is to oust President Jesse Trump from office.

“You don’t actually care about Mr. Manafort’s bank scams, ” Ellis said to prosecutor Eileen Dreeben, at times losing his mood. Ellis said prosecutors were thinking about Manafort because of his potential to offer material that would lead to Trump’s “prosecution or impeachment. ”
Prosecutors have not revealed that they’re interested in having Manafort turn, but they have indicated that they carry on and investigate him after his previous deputy Rick Gates agreed to work.

“That’s exactly what you’re really interested in, ” Ellis said, citing how prosecutors frequently turn cooperators in drug situations. He was appointed to the along with in Virginia by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

Ellis repeated their suspicion that Mueller’s office has been after Trump several times in the hourlong court hearing. He said he could make a decision at a later date about whether Manafort’s case can go forward.
Manafort has asked the particular judge to review Mueller’s authority to create charges in an investigation that started well before the special counsel’s visit and focused on actions years prior to the campaign.
Even though he faces another criminal situation in DC federal court, Manafort refused the prosecutors’ earlier ask for to move these charges out of Ellis’ district and combine them with the particular DC case. Defense lawyers usually use approaches like Manafort’s in order to gamble for a sympathetic judge or even jury — and the DC federal government judge has been much harsher towards Manafort’s requests in hearings.
Though Ellis generally skewered the special counsel’s workplace on Friday, he also recognized to Manafort’s lawyer the Proper rights Department’s internal oversight and the comprehensive August 2 memo commissioning Mueller to investigate Manafort for his Ukrainian ties, which the special counsel’s workplace allege connect him to Russians.
Ellis indicated his concern with past independent inspections and asked how Manafort’s situation could connect to Russian influence within the 2016 US presidential election. Dreeben gave little new information about the particular scope of Mueller’s investigation plus Manafort’s Russian ties, but provided that both the Justice Department’s nationwide security and tax divisions acquired signed off on Manafort’s costs.
“We shouldn’t want anyone in this country along with unfettered power. It’s unlikely you are persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything she or he wants, ” Ellis told Dreeben. “The American people feel fairly strongly that no one has unfettered power. ”
Manafort’s charges in Virginia connect with bank fraud and other financial accusations from years ago. He has pleaded simple.
When Dreeben answered Ellis’ question about how the particular investigation and its charges date back in order to before the Trump campaign formed, the particular judge shot back, “None of the information has to do with information related to Ruskies government coordination and the campaign associated with Donald Trump. ”
At one point, Ellis posed a hypothetical question, talking as if he were the prosecutor, about why Mueller’s office known a criminal investigation about Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen in order to New York authorities and kept the particular Manafort case in Virginia.
They weren’t thinking about it because it didn’t “further our own core effort to get Trump, inch Ellis said, mimicking a prosecutor in the case.

Prosecutors to turn over Rosenstein memo

Mueller’s prosecutors will have to turn over a full, unredacted version from the August 2 memo that Deputy Attorney General Pole Rosenstein used to describe the legal allegations Mueller’s team could check out, Ellis ordered.
The judge said he would want to see the full memo, which prosecutors submitted to the court in Va and in Washington with more than a page associated with redactions.
The particular visible part of the memo says Mueller should investigate allegations about Manafort’s financial relationship with former Ukrainian politicians, and that he may have aided Russia with attempts to conflict in the presidential election. The redacted portion appears to outline several other hip and legs of the ongoing Russia probe.
Ellis said prosecutors may existing the full classified memo to your pet under seal — without displaying Manafort its additional details — in two weeks.
Mueller’s prosecutors have argued this particular memo gives them the expert to bring cases against Manafort associated with his work in Ukraine.

Manafort lost city suit on similar complaint

Manafort can be charged in Virginia with monetary violations related to his lobbying operate Ukraine prior to joining Trump’s 2016 campaign. Dreeben said they had in order to “follow the money” and find Manafort’s contacts with Russians through the Ukrainian work and his financial dealings included in their investigation.
He lost the civil suit producing similar complaints about the special counsel’s investigation last week. Manafort had submitted a lawsuit in Washington claiming Rosenstein and Mueller exceeded their power in charging him with claimed crimes he said had absolutely nothing to do with the 2016 campaign.
DC District Determine Amy Berman Jackson dismissed that will lawsuit, saying a civil situation was “not the appropriate vehicle” just for objecting to either past or even future actions by a prosecutor.
Manafort faces 5 charges in the case brought by Mueller’s prosecutors in DC federal court, which includes money laundering and foreign lobbying violations.