The dramatic (first) trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is continuing this week. Facing charges of financial misconduct, the highlights of the Virginia court case include colorful testimony from his former associate Rick Gates — and rounds of antagonism of prosecutors from Judge T.S. Ellis.
This Thursday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team was successful in their efforts to get Ellis to walk back some of his earlier criticism of prosecutors.
Ellis had previously gone after Mueller’s team for having an IRS agent witness in attendance at the trial. The judge, though, had previously made clear that such would be acceptable.
In that light, early Thursday, he told the jury:
‘I was critical of counsel for… allowing an expert to remain in the courtroom. You may put that aside… I may well have been wrong.’
Ellis is definitely the most critical of the special counsel’s team between the two judges handling Mueller’s respective sets of charges against Manafort. In D.C. court, the special counsel’s other case against Manafort, which hasn’t gone to trial yet, is being handled by Judge Amy Berman Jackson. She’s the one who put Manafort in jail after Mueller’s team brought charges of attempted witness tampering against the disgraced political operative.
Overall, with Mueller’s team successful in getting Ellis to recant some of his former criticism, they remain ahead of the pack in that courtroom and Manafort continues to face possible serious consequences for his financial crimes.
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