On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III repeatedly pressed one of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s lawyers on whether the indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was intended solely as leverage against President Trump, The Hill reported, citing CNN.
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis said. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.
“That’s what you’re really interested in.”
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The Hill added:
But Ellis did not say whether or not the special counsel has the authority to bring the charges, leaving open the question of whether he will dismiss the case. Manafort is seeking to have the charges against him thrown out on the basis that the alleged tax and bank fraud charges against him have nothing to do with Trump or the campaign.
“I’m not saying it’s illegitimate,” Ellis said.
Manafort has filed a similar motion in D.C. federal court, where he also faces charges of money laundering, failing to appropriately inform the government of foreign lobbying work and making false statements.
The charges in both courts originate from his work on behalf of a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to both indictments.
Federal Judge in Manafort case expressed deep skepticism today of the bank fraud case Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s office brought against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, saying he believes Mueller wants to use the case to “get” President Donald Trump.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) May 4, 2018
As far as we can tell, it’s the first time someone in the judiciary acknowledge what this whole affair is really about — the removal of Donald Trump and ultimately, the overturning of a presidential election.
Meanwhile, The Hill also reported that Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, “introduced a resolution in the House on Thursday calling for an end to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation unless evidence of collusion is produced within the next 30 days.”
Are we finally starting to see some common sense being applied to this case? Only time will tell.
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