Judge Accuses Mueller Team of Prosecuting Manafort to Get Info on Trump

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The two-page filing doesn't offer much in the way of details, but each subpoena orders the recipient to appear at the federal courthouse in Alexandria on July 10 at 10 a.m.to testify at Manafort's trial on charges stemming from Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud".

The Virginia indictment alleges Manafort hid millions of dollars he earned as an adviser to pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine from the Internal Revenue Service before Donald Trump ran for president.

Mueller's office took over an investigation of Manafort that had been conducted by prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Ellis sits.

Manafort's lawyers argued Friday for the dismissal of the Virginia indictment, saying that the charges should be tossed out because they do not relate specifically to the Russian Federation investigation and the question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the 2016 presidential race in Trump's favor. They also said they had additional authority that they could not disclose in the courtroom because it related to ongoing investigations and could affect national security.

Prosecutors countered in their own filing that an investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government "would naturally cover ties that a former Trump campaign manager had to Russian-associated political operatives, Russian-backed politicians, and Russian oligarchs".

The judge has given Mueller's team two weeks to produce the memo.

Legal experts questioned the judge's comments.

Ellis proposed that this was because prosecutors had decided that the Cohen case did not "further our core effort to get Trump".

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Whether Manafort colluded with Russian government officials as Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 United States election.

Ellis, 77, has served on the federal bench since being chosen by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.

"I've been saying that for a long time", Trump said.

At one point, he expressed derision for Breeden's argument that he couldn't fully explain all the reasons for how the special counsel proceeded. "I understand your argument, but it kind of invites, 'C'mon man'".

"We are not operating with unfettered power", Breeden replied.

The judge also pressed prosecutors on why they referred the investigation of Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen to federal prosecutors in NY, while retaining the Manafort case. Manafort additionally faces prices in DC Federal court docket the place he was first indicted final fall.

'I'm sure you're sensitive to the fact that the American people feel pretty strongly about no one having unfettered power, ' Ellis said. "Whether prosecutors brought the case to flip Manafort is entirely irrelevant".

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