Federal Judge to Mueller: ‘You Really Care About Trump Impeachment’

T.S. Ellis, III, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Va, at the Investiture ceremony of Stuart Nash to be Associate Judge at the D.C. Superior Court. June 4, 2010. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

It was a rough day for Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and his team in Federal Court at a hearing for Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman to President Donald J. Trump.

“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.”

Judge Ellis also directed Mueller’s team to turn over an un-redacted copy of the memo outlining the Russia “collusion” probe, which Republicans in Congress have sought for months.

The court hearing became contentious when Manafort’s lawyers, arguing that an 18-count indictment for bank fraud should be dropped, showed that some of the evidence used by Mueller’s team in the present case was uncovered during a separate Justice Department investigation.

In America, our justice system investigates crimes, not people. Information pertaining to the same person, but a different crime or investigation, is irrelevant to the present case.

Judge Ellis seemed to agree.

“We don’t want anyone with unfettered power,” he said.

He then summed up Mueller’s team’s argument thusly: “We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has already given Mueller’s team significant latitude. In the interest of actual justice, they do not need anymore than they already have.


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