It Seems Mueller Just Doubled His Witness List For Manafort's Trial

Robert Mueller Paul Manafort blank subpoenas

A USA federal judge considering Robert Mueller's accusations against Manafort, stated Friday that the Special Counsel should not have absolute power to prosecute the President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, MSNBC reported.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III grilled the special counsel's team for almost an hour, questioning their "unfettered power" to prosecute and their desire to "tighten the screws" on Manafort, according to NBC's Ken Dilanian.

'You really care about wanting information you could get from Mr. Manafort that would relate to Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution, or impeachment, or whatever, ' Ellis said.

Mueller overstepped his authority by charging Manafort with crimes unrelated to collusion with Russian Federation.

The judge also demanded to see an unredacted version of the "scope memo", a document outlining the scope of the Russian Federation probe.

Under questioning from Ellis, government lawyers admitted that Manafort had been under investigation for years in the Eastern District of Virginia before Mueller was ever appointed special counsel.

While speaking to the NRA at a conference in Dallas, Texas, on Friday, Trump read out Ellis's remarks and said that he felt sympathy for Manafort, and agreed with Ellis about Mueller's motivation.

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, has pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team.

Dreeben said the Justice Department granted Mueller the authority to investigate "links and possible coordination of individuals" associated both with the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, and this made delving into Manafort's past financial transactions relevant.

Manafort is charged with tax and bank fraud. 'We are not separate from the Justice Department'.

"You believe that? This is what we're up - it is called the witch hunt", Trump said. The other, brought in Virginia, charges him with tax fraud, bank fraud, and failing to report foreign bank accounts.

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. Ellis said. "Tell me how". He suggested the real reason Mueller is pursuing Manafort is to pressure him to provide evidence against Trump.

But Ellis apparently wasn't buying it, reportedly characterizing the special counsel's office's argument as: "We said this was what the investigation was about, but we are not bound by it, and we were lying".

Breeden said he wouldn't say how much Mueller had spent of his $10 million budget.

"Come on, man!" Ellis said.

Ellis accused special prosecutors essentially of extorting testimony from Manafort.

Among the many topics Trump would cover, it is notable that he made reference to an incident that took place in a Virginia court earlier in the day at a hearing in the Paul Manafort case.

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