Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Judge T.S. Ellis III argued again Wednesday during the trial of Paul Manafort. This time it was over the admission of evidence in the trial of the former Trump campaign chairman.
There has been a lot of tension during the weeklong trial. Yesterday Judge Ellis told prosecutor Greg Andres he thought he was tearing up. When the prosecutor denied it, the Judge said his eyes were watery.
There was a lot of arguing between prosecutors and judge throughout each day. Sometimes the defense got hit.
Today didn’t go well for the prosecution either. Gates, Manafort’s former business partner, was winding up his third and final day of testimony Wednesday.
JUDGE ELLIS DIDN’T CARE IF THE ACCOUNTANT SPENT HER LIFE ON THE CHARTS
Prosecutor Andres wanted to show jurors charts detailing how money flowed from offshore accounts controlled by Mr. Manafort to his creditors in the U.S.
The witness, an FBI accountant, was to testify about the charts.
Manafort’s attorneys objected, saying the chart merely repeated evidence presented by other witnesses.
Mr. Andres told Judge Ellis that the agent spent a great deal of time putting the charts together.
“It isn’t relevant that she spent her life doing it,” the judge shot back.
He’s right though, isn’t he?
Judge Ellis told Mr. Andres that he needed to “focus sharply.” He has been after the prosecution to stick to the facts, not “throw mud” on the people involved, and move the case along.
“As a concession to the shortness of life, we need to get it done,” he snapped.
“We have been focused sharply for a long time,” Mr. Andres said, visibly frustrated.
There was some back-and-forth but the judge eventually allowed the prosecutor to question the agent.
“Neither side is going to profit,” Judge Ellis said over the decision to hear objections from the bench.
He then urged Mr. Andres to proceed quickly with the agent.
“Judges should be patient,” Judge Ellis said. “They made a mistake when they confirmed me.”
GATES GOT SLAMMED TOO
Rick Gates, the star witness for the prosecution, has also been subject to Ellis’ wrath.
During the trial, Gates testified that Manafort “was good at knowing where the money was and how to spend it.”
Ellis interjected, saying, “he wasn’t that great at it” if Gates was able to steal money from Manafort without him noticing. [Good point!]
Gates has testified he embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort when he was working for him. He said the extra cash was used for “bonus money” and “family money” to pay off an American Express credit card – without Manafort’s knowledge.
He also used it to pay for his apartment in London where he met his mistress.
A THIN CASE
So far, the prosecution has two witnesses — an accountant and Gates. The female accountant was going to jail if she didn’t testify and now she won’t. Rick Gates was facing 290 years in prison and will likely get probation because of his testimony. He has admitted to embezzling and lying. He’s a crook.
If this case isn’t backed up with a lot of documentation, it’s a mighty thin case with two sketchy witnesses.
Judge Jeanine stood up for the judge. She says the attorneys are rolling their eyes and not making contact when the judge addresses them because they know they have more power than anyone else. Mueller has sent the message this isn’t about the law, it’s about squeezing Manafort to testify against President Trump.
Judge Jeanine also doesn’t buy the excuse that Gates did something illegal because his client wanted him to.
They’re quite a sleazy bunch.
Listen to the clip and watch Judge Jeanine level a few people.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) August 8, 2018