Special counsel Robert Mueller filed a formal complaint against the judge presiding over Paul Manafort’s tax fraud case this week; claiming T.S. Ellis III violated protocol while ruling against the prosecution’s star witness.
According to Politico, Mueller’s team is increasingly frustrated with the “cranky judge” who has rebuked the special counsel’s office on multiple occasions.
“[T]he judge’s condescending attitude [could give] the jury the impression that the prosecution’s case is dubious,” said a former US Deputy Solicitor General. “This is an especially severe risk when the core of the case is the testimony of a co-conspirator who is admittedly a thief, liar, and embezzler. When the standard of proof is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ there is no margin for error.”
“On Wednesday, Ellis was at it again, dressing down prosecutors after learning that an IRS agent they called to the stand as an expert witness had been in the courtroom for the entire trial,” writes Politico.
“I don’t care what the transcript says, maybe I made a mistake,” Ellis fumed. “When I exclude witnesses I mean everybody, unless I make a special exception.”
Read the full report here.