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United States News
See other United States News Articles

Title: Manafort Judge to Prosecutor: ‘There’s Tears in Your Eyes’
Source: Bloomberg
URL Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti ... tor-there-s-tears-in-your-eyes
Published: Aug 7, 2018
Author: David Voreacos, Andrew M Harris, and Dan
Post Date: 2018-08-07 11:20:49 by nolu chan
Keywords: None
Views: 177
Comments: 18

Manafort Judge to Prosecutor: ‘There’s Tears in Your Eyes’

By David Voreacos, Andrew M Harris, and Daniel Flatley
August 7, 2018, 6:25 AM CDT

Tensions at the Paul Manafort fraud trial grew so heated Monday that the judge suggested that one of Robert Mueller’s prosecutors was crying during a discussion out of the jury’s earshot, according to a transcript of the proceedings.

“I understand how frustrated you are,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said during the discussion. “In fact, there’s tears in your eyes right now.’’

When Prosecutor Greg Andres protested that he didn’t have tears in his eyes, the judge shot back: “Well, they’re watery.”

The exchange came during testimony by Manafort’s former right-hand man, Rick Gates, who offered dramatic details about how he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from his boss while helping him hide offshore accounts from U.S. tax authorities and defraud bankers to secure loans.

Mueller’s team has clashed repeatedly with Ellis, who questions the relevance of detailed evidence about Manafort’s work as a political consultant in Ukraine, where prosecutors say he made more than $60 million from 2010 to 2014. Some of those confrontations continued in bench conferences that jurors and dozens of media members couldn’t hear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Andres complained that Ellis was blocking him from asking important questions while placing an emphasis on moving quickly at the bank- and tax-fraud trial of Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. Ellis disagreed, saying he wasn’t emphasizing speed over substance. The judge continued that delay is unnecessary, and prosecutors should stick to the relevant evidence.

What follows is taken from the transcript:

“Look at me when you’re talking to me,” Ellis said to Andres.

“I’m sorry, judge, I was,” Andres said.

“No, you weren’t,” Ellis said. “You were looking down.”

“Because I don’t want to get in trouble for some facial expression,” the prosecutor said. “I don’t want to get yelled at again by the court for having some facial expression when I’m not doing anything wrong, but trying my case.”

Ellis said to another prosecutor: “You must be quiet.”

“I’m sorry, judge,” Andres said.

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#1. To: All (#0)

There's no crying in criminal prosecutions....

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-07   11:21:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: nolu chan (#0) (Edited)

The prosecutors can't appeal a Not Guilty verdict, but I hope Ellis isn't setting himself up for a mistrial argument on the basis of bias.

Some of those confrontations continued in bench conferences that jurors and dozens of media members couldn’t hear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.
Unless they're sequestered, they'll hear about it.

Hank Rearden  posted on  2018-08-07   11:30:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Hank Rearden (#2)

I hope Ellis isn't setting himself up for a mistrial argument on the basis of bias.

No chance. The trial is almost over, Ellis is the judge, and he isn't going to declare a mistrial. Ellis has been doing this for decades and does not get recused or overturned because of it.

The judge is correct to restrict them to things that are relevant.

The prosecution should be able to make the case that Manafort filed false loan applications.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-07   11:44:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: nolu chan (#0)

The judge is probably thinking, "What's the point? Trump's going to pardon him anyways".

misterwhite  posted on  2018-08-07   11:46:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: misterwhite (#4)

The judge is probably thinking, "What's the point? Trump's going to pardon him anyways".

The judge rapidly tired of hearing about how many suits Manafort had, how many closets they were in, what they were made of, and generally that Manafort lived a lavish lifestyle. He is forcing them to present evidence related to the actual criminal charges and it is getting very testy at sidebar. The witnesses are admitted liars, thieves and/or frauds with immunity deals and credibility problems.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-07   13:11:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: Hank Rearden (#2)

Some of those confrontations continued in bench conferences that jurors and dozens of media members couldn’t hear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Unless they're sequestered, they'll hear about it.


Tension between the judge and the prosecution team boiled over again late Monday as prosecutors attempted to introduce Gates' passport as evidence of his travels to Ukraine and Cyprus. Judge Ellis interrupted them.

"Let's get to the heart of the matter," he scowled.

"Judge, we've been at the heart …" prosecutor Andres interrupted.

"Just listen to me!" Ellis bellowed from the bench.

Ellis told Andres he was looking for ways to "expedite." Andres responded, "We're doing everything we can to move the trial along."

After sending the jury out of the courtroom, Judge Ellis tore into Andres for what he called unnecessary questions about billionaires involved in Ukrainian politics.

Andres pushed back angrily, prompting a heated argument that went on for more than 10 minutes.

Ellis repeatedly criticized Andres for not making eye contact with the judge, saying "look at me" and suggesting Andres "looked down as if to say, 'that's BS.' "

Andres responded with frustration saying, "You continue to interpret our reactions in some way," when the lawyers don't do the same to the judge.

Ellis disputed that he had limited prosecutors significantly or interrupted them often, saying the record would support him on that.

"I will stand by the record as well," Andres retorted.

"All right, then you will lose," Ellis responded.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-07   13:14:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: Hank Rearden (#2) (Edited)

I hope Ellis isn't setting himself up for a mistrial argument on the basis of bias.

That is the default position of ALL Democrats-Commies, isn't it?

Ellis knows this entire case is based on nothing but smoke & warped mirrors, and a agitprop BS. I think you're right in anticipating the Dems eventual move to dismiss the Judge as "prejudicial".

Dems truly believe ALL decisions AGAINST Dems-Lefties IS "bias". OR "bigotry". OR racism/sexism/xenophobia, etc.

NOTHING should surprise us since we currently live in a State of Kangaroo Courts of public-opinion and virtual Anarchy. No longer have we a pesky pseudo-Constitution and Law to get in the way of fascist place these Dem-Left & their weaselly cousins (the GOPe colluders) plan on taking us.

Liberator  posted on  2018-08-07   15:26:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: nolu chan (#0)

What is amazing to me is the tale of two trails. The one we see and the one MSM sees(or makes up).

Justified  posted on  2018-08-07   18:10:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: Justified (#8)

I think they should get a conviction, at least for filing false loan applications. That is not exactly what they are looking for.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-07   22:39:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: nolu chan (#9)

I really hope the Trump administration can rout out the Regressives that using the government as a tool for the Demoncrap party. Good FBI agents right now must feel like they are working for the devil instead of the people. I like most people want to see top agents go to jail. If there is no punishment there will be no deterrent to keep this from happening again.

Justified  posted on  2018-08-08   8:57:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#11. To: Liberator, Justified, Hank Rearden (#7)

[Liberator #7] Ellis knows this entire case is based on nothing but smoke & warped mirrors, and a agitprop BS.

I believe part of the Manafort defense was to claim that much money reflected as earned from Ukraine was never paid, so his tax returns accurately reflected what he believed to be his true and accurate income. However, the inflated figures were used on loan applications. Such argument could create reasonable doubt about Manafort's guilt regarding income tax charges, but could facilitate proving charges of falsified loan application charges. It would not be a walk, but it would be the next best thing.

Just an FYI for a court happening today, continuing from yesterday. I have seen a few reports blown out of proportion, so here is the actual Mueller motion for a curative instruction.

USA v Manafort, 18-cr-83 (9 Aug 2018) Doc 216, Government's Motion for Curative Instruction

On Thursday morning, Judge Ellis issued a curative instruction to the jury, “Put aside any criticism. I was probably wrong in that," regarding Wednesday about an expert witness from the IRS having been covered by an order to exclude witnesses from the proceedings except for during their testimony.

In another update, Cindy Laporta, the CPA who testified earlier that she knew, or suspected, tax claims were fraudulent, had her employment with the Virginia accounting firm Kositzka, Wicks & Co. terminated. It is very possible her license may follow.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-09   17:22:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#12. To: Liberator, Justified, Hank Rearden (#11)

Today's minor kerfuffle. Another government motion for curative instruction.


At page 1937 of the transcript, page 32 of 32 of the transcript excerpt appended to the government motion for curative instruction:

Mr. Asonye for the government.
Mr. Nanavati for defendant Paul Manafort.

Q. Was the Union Street loan ever funded?
A. No, it was not.
Q. Do you know why?
A. No, I don't. I was never given a specific reason for it, me personally. I was just told that we weren't moving forward with the loan.
MR. ASONYE: The Court's indulgence?
No further questions, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Mr. Nanavati.
MR. NANAVATI: Yes, Your Honor. Thank you.
THE COURT: You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted.
MR. NANAVATI: Thank you, Your Honor.
MR. ASONYE: Your Honor, I just want to note that this is a -- this is a charged count in the indictment.
THE COURT: I know that.

MR. ASONYE: Oh, okay.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-10   14:09:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#13. To: nolu chan, Justified, Hank Rearden (#12)

Thanks for your follow up.

The Gummint prosecution is embarrassing itself. But neither they, the Dems or Sessions care. It's *perception* that matters. And it provides fodder to CNN/MSNBC, lib-left MSM etal.

The Manafort Case is definitive Deep State "Because-We-Can!" weaponizing, abuse of power and Gestapo-ism, having NOTHING to do with "National Security" or "Law Enforcement". Fascinating how this turns out.

The players of the Deep State seem to be tentacles of not only 0bama's Machination, but of the International/NWO Elite's. No matter how this turns out., America is irreparably damaged (part of the NWO "Wish-List" IMO).

Nolu, if you can analyze, breakdown and editorialize your opinion on stuff like this, I know I'd appreciate it.

Liberator  posted on  2018-08-10   14:27:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#14. To: Liberator, Justified, Hank Rearden (#13)


The judge allowed the govt to introduce evidence that Manafort's businesses didn't file foreign bank account reports, over defense objection (they argued it wasn't relevant to whether Manafort individually willfully failed to file required FBARs).


Judge T.S. Ellis III has said he will instruct jurors that they cannot find Manafort guilty for omissions made by his company since the indictment doesn’t name his entities but only him as an individual.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-13   19:05:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#15. To: Liberator, Justified, Hank Rearden (#14)


The Manafort trial judge snapped at Mueller's team because they're not ready for prime time

I’ve spent my career defending criminal cases before Judge Ellis and his colleagues, and Mueller's team earned his ire.

Greg Hunter
Aug.13.2018 / 3:47 AM ET

The Manafort trial has attracted a lot of media attention over the last few days, seemingly all of it centered on the dramatic evidence presented by the government and the dramatic admonitions of that prosecution by Judge T.S. Ellis III.

Ellis is a Navy veteran who was appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan, and the working assumption seems to be that he’s a rock-ribbed Republican, and thus on the side of the president. President Donald Trump even praised Ellis for admonishing the government during a pre-trial hearing, calling him a “great judge.”

As a veteran defense lawyer in Ellis’ courtroom (whom he once sent the FBI to protect), I don’t believe that his actions are a product of whatever his political views might be — even though, through a strictly political lens, many people on both sides seem to accept that he is hostile to the government and their case.

But I’ve spent nearly my entire career defending criminal cases in the Eastern District of Virginia and, having watched the Mueller team in action, I believe that they earned Ellis’ opprobrium with their lack of respect for his work and the jury’s time.

Granted, Robert Mueller is the best the Department of Justice has to offer, a respected veteran of the Marine Corps, the University of Virginia School of Law, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation — institutions where trust, skill and integrity are prized. And the people who work for him are exactly the people he wanted, each of them having significant experience in the exact kinds of cases his office was tasked with investigating.

In addition, the Mueller team has employed other agencies and United States Attorneys’ Offices to help in his investigation, and they have used grand jury subpoenas to bring some very uncooperative witnesses in to talk. They seem to have the facts on their side in the Manafort case, too, from millions of dollars of profligate spending to an almost complete lack of compliance with things like tax filings and Foreign Agent Registry Act reporting. They even have the damning testimony of Manafort's bookkeeper and his long-time deputy.

But even though this case seems to be an important piece of a larger effort to get to the bottom of what happened in the 2016 election, something in which every American has an interest, the fact remains that the Mueller team has to actually try Paul Manafort in this case, and only Paul Manafort. And no matter how strong their evidence, how righteous their cause or how impressive their resumes may be (and actually are), they simply haven’t done a very good job.

This case started with the Mueller team first appearing in Ellis’ courtroom without consulting the local United States Attorney’s Office. The Eastern District of Virginia has perhaps the best collection of prosecutors in the entire nation, and Ellis doesn’t see much of a need for anyone from across the river coming to help, let alone coming in to prosecute a case on their own. Besides, things are a little different in the Rocket Docket (as the Eastern District is known) generally and in Judge Ellis’ courtroom specifically; but, as the American Bar Association says, if you’re appearing in a new courthouse, bring an experienced local attorney with you — even if you are the deputy solicitor general.

The Mueller team’s mistakes didn’t stop there. Though they did bring Uzo Asonye, a veteran assistant United States attorney in Alexandria, along with them after that first hearing, they didn’t let him speak at the motions hearing in May where Michael Dreeben, perhaps the nation’s premiere appellate advocate, appeared to be poorly prepared and less than candid with the court, earning them more of Ellis’ ill will.

And though much has been made of the fact that Ellis interrupted and reprimanded the government from the first moments of the trial, even interrupting their opening statement, the Mueller team invited those interruptions by repeating the exact factual claims Ellis had already ruled were irrelevant to the case at hand. An important part of a judge’s job is to make and enforce his or her rulings; unlike on television, lawyers don’t get to make grand pronouncements in violation of rules and rulings just because they make for great television.

That same sort of treatment has continued throughout the trial. The prosecution continued to bring up irrelevant points, even though they are often narratively compelling. They’ve rolled their eyes and complained, and even once argued that they should be able to present a chart the judge had excluded because the witness took a long time to make it, rather than telling him why they thought it was relevant.

Ellis is certainly demanding: He is, as I’ve heard him say, “a Caesar in [his] own Rome,” (even if, as he also likes to say, “it’s a pretty small Rome.”) He is also among the best the federal judiciary has to offer. Ellis has impressive credentials, perhaps eclipsing even Mueller’s, having served as a Navy F4 Phantom pilot after graduating from Princeton and adding a degree from Oxford as a Knox Fellow to his resume after graduating from Harvard Law School.

Over the last 30 years or so on the bench, he has shown the remarkable intellectual acumen necessary to competently preside over cases many lawyers and judges would rightly try hard to avoid.

While he’s accused of being pro-defendant in this trial, and has certainly held the government to high standards over the course of his career, he’s also been roundly criticized for being very pro-government. I have personally appealed several of his decisions to the Fourth Circuit, and have only won once.

Last Monday, Greg Andres, currently the lead counsel for the government, threatened to appeal on the grounds that Ellis has interrupted and admonished the government too frequently; trust me on this, his appeal won’t go any further than mine did.

And, though almost all of the coverage of this trial mentions the breakneck speed of the Rocket Docket, the truth is that Ellis is the slow judge around here. He will entertain and examine any argument that may even marginally affect the outcome of a case (and ad nauseum at that), but with a jury in the box he demands that lawyers speak clearly, follow the rules, stick to what’s relevant and keep the imposition on the jurors’ time to a minimum.

If you want things to go better in his court you have to live up to the high standards he demands. Every attorney who has ever tried a case before him knows this, including literally hundreds of current and former assistant United States attorneys. Anyone who has simply Googled Judge Ellis’ name and read the coverage of other famous cases he’s presided over knows this, too.

Greg Hunter is a criminal defense lawyer in Arlington, Virginia.

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-13   19:07:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#16. To: Liberator, Justified, Hank Rearden (#14)


Mueller Team Rests in Manafort Fraud Trial

Brandi Buchman
Courthouse News Service
August 13, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CN) – Prosecutors wrapped up their case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Monday afternoon, as the judge agreed to instruct jurors they cannot find Manafort guilty for omissions made by his company because the indictment only names him individually.

That information can be used as evidence, however, to determine Manafort’s intent or “willfulness” to omit information about the entities on his personal tax returns, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III told attorneys after jurors were dismissed from the courtroom.

The penultimate witness called by attorneys for Special Counsel Robert Mueller was James Brennan, who worked as a construction and commercial loan office at the Chicago-based Federal Savings Bank.

Brennan testified Monday that even though it was evident that he lacked the assets to back them up, two loans for Manafort were approved at the behest of an executive who was angling for a spot in the Trump administration.

Judge Ellis will now consider defense attorneys’ motion for acquittal following his decision to allow additional testimony from Paula Liss, a special agent with the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

Liss testified last week but was questioned again Monday about whether Manafort’s companies reported foreign bank accounts on their tax records from 2011 to 2014.

Following a rapid line of questioning from prosecutor Greg Andres, Liss told jurors the companies had not.

On that note, Andres rested the prosecution’s case.

During a procedural sidebar, defense attorneys argued that the overarching charges brought by Mueller’s team against Manafort were invalid because they lacked “materiality” and failed to show “necessary willfulness.”

Ellis sealed the courtroom before discussing the defense’s motion to acquit, but noted that what was discussed in secret Monday will eventually be revealed.

“When the case is over, the seal will be lifted,” Judge Ellis said.

Defense attorney Kevin Downing requested until Tuesday morning to write the motion for acquittal. Ellis granted the request.

The motion hinges on details that another defense attorney, Thomas Zehnle, said would likely come up during closing arguments.

Zehnle argued during one sidebar that Manafort had no obligation to report foreign bank accounts held by Davis Manafort International LLC since he only owned 50 percent of the company at the time. Manafort’s wife, Kathleen, owned the other half from 2012 to 2014.

The alleged conduct in the government’s indictment spans from 2011 to 2014. Prosecutor Uzo Asonye was quick to point out that Manafort was the sole owner of Davis Manafort International for at least one of those years, in 2011.

Asonye also emphasized that when Manafort filed as a foreign agent in 2017, he also listed himself as 100 percent owner of the company.

Judge Ellis replied that the government “could have indicted the company but you didn’t.”

This is a developing story…

nolu chan  posted on  2018-08-13   19:09:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#17. To: nolu chan (#15)

The Court of Judge T.S. Ellis III will NOT have "Kangaroo" attached to it. Nor is he suffering fools. The lot of them. Good to know.

Liberator  posted on  2018-08-14   10:49:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#18. To: nolu chan (#16)

Judge Ellis replied that the government “could have indicted the company but you didn’t.”

Judge Eliis: "DUH. You are prosecuting a fundamentally FUBARed case. TARGET MISSED."



Liberator  posted on  2018-08-14   10:52:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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