Judge Mulls Dismissal Of Manafort Charges, "Sharply Questioned" Mueller Overreach

Like most motions to dismiss, Paul Manafort's was initially viewed as a long-shot bid to win the political operative his freedom and get out from under the thumb of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But after today's hearing on a motion to dismiss filed by Manafort's lawyers, it's looking increasingly likely that Manafort could escape his charges - and be free of his ankle bracelets - because in a surprising rebuke of Mueller's "overreach", Eastern District of Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute over charges that have nothing to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Manafort

Ellis said he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort (and presumably other individuals) to pressure them into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they appeared to be the work of an older investigation into Manafort that was eventually dropped.

"I don’t see how this indictment has anything to do with anything the special prosecutor is authorized to investigate," Ellis said at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, concerning a motion by Manafort to dismiss the case.

It got better: Ellis also slammed prosecutors saying it appeared they were using the indictment of Manafort to pressure him to cooperate against Trump. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty and disputes Mueller’s assertion that he violated U.S. laws when he worked for a decade as a political consultant for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

"You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud," Ellis said. "You really care about what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or prosecution."

According to Bloomberg, Ellis is overseeing one of two indictments against Manafort. Manafort is also charged in Washington with money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine.

* * *

Manafort's lawyers had asked the judge in the Virginia case to dismiss an indictment filed against him in what was their third effort to beat back criminal charges by attacking Mueller’s authority. The judge also questioned why Manafort’s case there could not be handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Virginia, rather than the special counsel’s office, as it is not Russia-related. A question many others have asked, as well.

Ellis has given prosecutors two weeks to show what evidence they have that Manafort was complicit in colluding with the Russians. If they can't come up with any, he may, presumably, dismiss the case.  Ellis also asked the special counsel’s office to share privately with him a copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein’s August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of Mueller’s Russia probe. He said the current version he has been heavily redacted.

At that point, should nothing change materially, Manafort may be a free man; needless to say, a dismissal would set precedent and be nothing short of groundbreaking by potentially making it much harder for Mueller to turn other witnesses against the president.

We imagine the prospect of Manafort effectively walking free will prompt some more glee from President Trump on Twitter, touting Ellis' skepticism as validation of his view.

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Comments

IntercoursetheEU Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:40 Permalink

And Gen Flynn? The nullification of this case can't be far behind. Both cases are in essence inconsequential, lawfare for a politically motivated goal. 

General Flynn, Paul Manafort, collaterally damaged victims of the pro-Clinton coup to unseat the duly elected President of the US. 

The (so called) Justice Dept can either straighten up and fly right or resign NOW. Otherwise face the consequences of ignoring the Constitution and Bill of Rights. WWG1WGA  "...all enemies, foreign and domestic" 

“The first principle of all propaganda and disinformation involves the manipulation of public opinion by the creation of a lie that is crafted to be sufficiently credible so that a persistent campaign of repeating the lie can change public opinion, even if the narrative is totally untrue, concocted without any basis in fact, evidence or reality.”

Killing the Deep State,  Dr. Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.

???ö? IntercoursetheEU Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:43 Permalink

Attention Hookers: Special Counsel urgently needs your stories. We pay top dollar. Big tits, role-play, and lying required. Television experience preferred. No drug screening. No background check. Transportation included. Call 1-800-George-Soros or contact the Law Offices of Wray, Mueller, and Rosenstein, LLC.

In reply to by IntercoursetheEU

MoreSun kralizec Fri, 05/04/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

This is very real, and we need everyones help to free this woman from the hands of the jew surpremacists that have had total control of Germany since jew war II.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRtyYfOu0QA

And here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D37uZLTUECA&t=17s

Her crime per the jew supremacists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YipPfQ4phM&t=7s

Here is your beloved fellow jew supremacists in action- sorry folks this is who these hateful people are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TOYLr_P6hA&t=69s

In reply to by kralizec

two hoots CheapBastard Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

IF SO?  How did this happen?  No overwatch?  Nothing?  Mueller is free range, no rules, a unquestionable God?  

Isn't there some gov body responsible to keep him in line on the right course?

Are all afraid of him, Mueller?

 

One man should not have control to unseat a president, not when our nation is based on balance of power.  

 

 

In reply to by CheapBastard

MoreSun IridiumRebel Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:33 Permalink

The jew supremacists are furiously trying to get the internet genie back in the bottle so they can fully control and force dispense their lying propaganda once again & stop any truth from reaching the masses.

Some good reads to bring you up to factual historical speed:

" One Nation Under Israel "  By: Andrew Hurley

" It's The jew's Stupid ! -Revisited "  By: R. Vincent Bert

" The Aclu Vs America "  By: Alan Sears & Craig Osten

" Breaking The Spell "  By:  Dr. Nicholas Kollerstrom

" The Bad War " By: M.S. King

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YipPfQ4phM&t=7s

In reply to by IridiumRebel

WorkingPoor Stan522 Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:53 Permalink

I fear that this brave judge is gonna get Robertsed.

 

A largish envelope with 8x10s of the judge and family...and a note. "We know where and when you go and where and when THEY go. You will receive instructions. To-the-letter obedience will keep you and them in the same health as in the picture." or some such.

 

In reply to by Stan522

aeneas01 Beam Me Up Scotty Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:46 Permalink

I wonder if Christopher Steele used his old agents/contacts/sources of information from the days when he ran the MI6 Russia Desk when compiling/confecting his dossier? I wonder if Sergei Skripal was one of the "sources" for the dossier (Steele was Skripal's MI6 handler for many years)? I wonder if Sergei Skripal was paid to provide "information" for Steele's dossier? I wonder if this Novochuk "poisoning" nonsense is a long-distance Arkancide? I wonder if the other "sources" for Steele's dossier were also his old agents/contacts/sources of information from his time running the MI6 Russia Desk? I wonder why Special Counsel Mueller hasn't issued a subpoena for Skripal or Steele to appear before him? Maybe he thought there was no need to since Skripal was supposed to have died before a subpoena could be served? 

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

LaugherNYC Beam Me Up Scotty Fri, 05/04/2018 - 16:23 Permalink

When I warned my Never Trump friends and relatives that the hiring of Andrew Weissman was not necessarily a good thing for the persecution -- I mean prosecution of Trump, they scoffed. A buddy who is a former Fed Prosecutor went on for days about how great Weissman was. Forget that this zealot hack has had all the major cases he argued that were actually challenging (unlike the mob cases, which are gifts from the USA to tha AUSA's as career-makers) overturned due to prosecutorial malfeasance and malpractice.

Weissman may be on the verge of BLOWING UP this case. In their zeal to get Trump, he stomps on the Constitution and civil rights.

I believe Manafort is a CRIMINAL and a TRAITOR to the USA and Trump. He should be thrown in jail for decades. BUT, Weismman, the zealot, jeopardizes this by pursuing a case using false pretenses, false flag attacks on the President's lawyer using -- prosecutorial malfeasance -- to get privileged records, based on a ginned up, bullshit porn star accusation. Does ANYONE believe Avenatti is not being fed info by the Special Counsel's staff? Does anyone believe that Strzok and Page were the only rotten eggs on the staff of the Special Counsel and DOJ? Look at Avenatti - check out his smugness when asked about things HE COULD NOT POSSIBLY KNOW ABOUT unless the FBI was basically working for him.

 

 

 

STORMY DANIELS SETUP

And since when does a porn start rate a superstar Democratic operative?? WHO IS PAYING HIM? Is he doing this for "free"??? LOL!!

The Press goes nuts about Rudy and Trump and their disorganized defense. Maybe, when you didn't do something, you can struggle to figure out how to defend it. They have made it now Trump's burden to prove he DIDN'T screw the porn star. THAT IS NOT HOW THE LAW WORKS.

The case is simple: 

Stormy alleges years ago she had sex with Trump, tries to extort him, fails.

Trump gets nomination.

Dems go to Stormy and McDougal, get them revved back up to extort and embarrass Trump. Suddenly her lawyer is backed up by Dems super hatchet man/operative "Chicago Slim" Avenatti.

Trump tells Cohen to handle it, he's a billionaire about to win a Presidential election, doesn't take this crap seriously, wants it disposed of. Probably sets a limit on the settlement (not uncommon for guys like Trump) - like "anything under $200k"

COhen handles it, BUT he doesn't know the whole thing is now a DEM SETUP. Avenatti behind scenes, manipulating Cohen.

Cohen asks DJT, a notorious skinflint, to pay him back. Trump says you'll take it from monthly retainer. Cohen isn't happy about that. (NOTE: This is consistent with Trump not knowing about payoff when it was made, and not knowing where Cohen got the cash to pay her.)

FBI illegally surveils Cohen since they know he is gonna have to talk to Trump about the payment and the case, and figure they'll get the goods. (The illegal wiretap leaks, and they change the story to just a 'log'  LMFAO!

FBI hears Cohen say something to someone else, maybe a criminal issue

FBI uses allegation from Steele dossier that Cohen went to Prague, (is it a coincidence that it leaked that the Mueller group supposedly had proof Cohen was in Prague a couple days after the raid?)  and the possible FEC violation in Stormy payoff to get a warrant to cover their illegal surveillance with a no knock search and seizure. Now, their illegal surveillance is covered, they say.

FBI now has evidence against Cohen... but who knows if they have anything against Trump? If so, did they even get it legally?

 

If Trump conspired with the Russians, he must go. If he had sex with the porn star, who cares???

 

 

 

 

In reply to by Beam Me Up Scotty

BarkingCat LaugherNYC Fri, 05/04/2018 - 17:29 Permalink

>>>

If Trump conspired with the Russians, he must go. If he had sex with the porn star, who cares???

<<<

Why? 

Is collusion illegal? Acording to what at least 1 talking head who is an attorney, there is no law against collusion l

Frankly I don't care if Trump colluded with the Russians to win the presidency. 

Every federal level politician seems to be swearing allegiance to Israel and that is something I find more troubling. 

The most that the Russians could hope for from Trump is to get a normal relationship. 

Frankly, I think that is a good idea. There is no good reason to be risking war with Russia.

Nothing good can come of it.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

Az_Warrior BarkingCat Fri, 05/04/2018 - 18:02 Permalink

There has to be an underlying crime, since collusion is not illegal. I can collude with my wife to hide Christmas presents from the kids, it's not a crime. I can collude with my kids to hide a birthday gift for my wife, it's not a crime. 

That's why Mueller is trying to use malicious prosecutions to get someone to accuse the President of a crime. There is nothing criminal to the Russian collusion.  

In reply to by BarkingCat

DjangoCat Az_Warrior Fri, 05/04/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

Or, its all Kabuki to keep the oppo distracted and the nasties kept together in a pack under Mueller, where they are safe.

What if Mueller were on the other side?  What if he has been building his cred with the Dims, while making his case against the real baddies?  What if this final failure in the Trump witch hunt signals the turn that was planned from the beginning?

Maybe we are making this shit up.  Maybe its real.

An unredacted release of his mandate would tell the tale.

In reply to by Az_Warrior

LaugherNYC BarkingCat Sat, 05/05/2018 - 00:55 Permalink

 I don’t disagree with you about the outcome of any “collusion: but you cant work with a foreign power to influence an election here. That opens a Pandora’s box., It may be OK this time, but maybe not another time.

I think the relative low heat of your anti Israel sentiment exposes you as one of the more thoughtful agents of a foreign power trolling here. What exactly do you mean “swearing allegiance to Israel?” Do you not believe that Israel is the only liberal Democracy in the Middle East, and if she were not constantly attacked and under threat would be a peaceful neighbor? Does it make sense that Israel would want war when she is surrounded by a billion Muslims increasingly well-armed? What does it gain them to be forced to spend so much of their budget on the military, and waste so much of their younger generation’s time? None whatsoever.

That the US supports Israel means what? That we assist an ally in their quest not to be exterminated by hostile regimes? There is nothing Israel can do to mollify her enemies. It is like the Bond movie :What do you want me to do, Goldfinger? Why, Mr. Bond, I want you to die.

Vlad’s antipathy to Israel is his antipathy to a Western alliance that prevents him from seizing dominance in the anti-American Arab world and gaining control of the oil flow that he needs in order to get prices and supply to levels that will bail out his failed economy. If oil were at $150 a barrel, Vlad would not care so much about Israel, but for now the best way to make that happen is to start a war between the great oil well that is Iran and Israel, so supply will be interrupted, the region will be in utter chaos, and he can choke out China with $150 oil. MBS must have shocked him with his progressive moves - I assume he is working on ways to eliminate him.

He is panicking, because the US is building such massive capacity, and alts are making strides, that his future looks bleak unless he acts. He just wants the pesky US to get distracted and butt out so he can get the shooting started, and the Iranian and Israeli body count up. He doesnt want war with the US, so he has to tout weapons that make it seem unwinnable to the Gorgon that is the US military. 

Does that explain that whole Israel allegiance thing?

In reply to by BarkingCat

jin187 BarkingCat Sat, 05/05/2018 - 03:52 Permalink

This.  The only serious things the Russians could have done would be crimes by themselves.  Murder, theft, illegal contributions, and so on.  Posting random crap on .0001% of Facebook isn't exactly stuffing the ballot boxes.  Even if the Russians commit crimes, such as the bullshit internet troll indictments, and even if they told Trump about it, and handed him the info they got personally, it's still not a crime on Trump's part unless he ordered, or conspired with them to commit those related crimes.  We could find out that Putin and Trump had tea time every day to discuss ways to increase his chances of winning, and unless Trump signed off on criminal actions in those meetings, there's nothing to prosecute.  This is why we know Mueller is just performing a hit job on Trump, because he can't prosecute, or subpoena a sitting president.  The goal here is obviously to make him lose enough support to be impeached.  Mueller is looking for the smoking gun that he can hand to the Lindsey Graham's and John McCain's of the Senate, and get them to vote yes on impeachment.  Nothing more.

I think the most damning thing about the special counsel, is that what he's investigating and charging people with, after a year of digging, is public knowledge in regards to the other side.  We KNOW Fusion GPS conspired with foreign agents to influence the election, but Mueller doesn't seem to care.  We KNOW the Clinton Foundation is involved in shady deals and transactions with foreign agents, that benefit the Clintons and their cronies, but Mueller doesn't seem to care.  We've got leakers and liars coming out of the woodwork from the DNC appointees in the DoJ, but Mueller doesn't care.  If he really is just trying to get to the bottom of any possible interference or collusion relating to the election, why isn't he going after this low hanging fruit?  Send a few guys dressed like ninjas to seize whatever you can at the Clinton Foundation, and he'd probably find a hundred Manaforts worth of fraud and money laundering in the first 5 minutes.

In reply to by BarkingCat

NoDebt The First Rule Fri, 05/04/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

Not to throw a wet blanket over all the joy here but there's a better than average chance this judge is simply grand-standing and will allow the case to go forward anyway.

Nothing of what's gone on related to this Special Counsel has had anything to do with "justice".  This whole thing operates purely, 100% in the political realm.

 

In reply to by The First Rule

Arctic Frost NoDebt Sat, 05/05/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

 

His demand to see the scope could end up being very important. The DOJ can’t pull a “we’re investigating and we cannot trust you” on him since he is one single man just as Rosenstien is. If Rosenstien as a single man can draft it, then a single man as a judge can judge it. Judges have the right to oversee over reach. I’d rather him judging it than anyone else.

In reply to by NoDebt