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Old 05-04-2018, 11:28 AM  
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Mueller slammed by Judge in Manfort Case

U.S. judge questions special counsel's powers in Manafort case

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday sharply criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal case in Virginia against President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and openly questioned whether Mueller exceeded his prosecutorial powers by bringing it.

“I don’t see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

At a tense hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, the judge said Mueller should not have “unfettered power” in his Russia probe and that the charges against Manafort did not arise from the investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special counsel has unfettered power to do whatever he wants,” said Ellis, who was appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington. The Virginia case charges him with offenses including tax and bank fraud.

The other case in Washington accuses him of conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent when he lobbied for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government.

None of the charges relate, however, to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign or possible collusion with Russia. Trump has denied any collusion.

Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing has argued that the charges must dismissed because the FBI investigation dates back to 2014, and therefore did not arise from Mueller’s probe.

The bulk of Friday’s questions by the judge were aimed squarely at Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general who is currently working in Mueller’s office.

While Dreeben conceded that Mueller had inherited the probe into Manafort after his May 2017 appointment by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he insisted the office is on solid legal ground and has the power to proceed with prosecuting the case.

“Our investigative scope does cover the activity” in the indictment,” Dreeben told the judge.

“Cover bank fraud in 2005 and 2007? Tell me how!” Ellis retorted.

Friday marked the third time now that Manafort has tried to get the charges against him dropped.

He first filed a civil case alleging the Justice Department’s order appointing Mueller was overly broad in violation of Justice Department rules, but the case was tossed last month.

He is also seeking to get the Washington-based criminal charges against him dismissed on similar legal grounds that were presented to the Virginia judge on Friday.

The federal judge in Washington, Amy Berman Jackson, has not yet ruled on the request to dismiss that indictment.

Friday, however, marked the first time that Manafort’s arguments about the scope of Mueller’s powers appeared to have gained some traction.

During the oral arguments, Ellis repeatedly chided Mueller’s $10 million budget.

He also asked whether Rosenstein, who oversees the probe and is considered an important witness into whether Trump tried to obstruct justice, is recused from the case.

And he repeatedly claimed that the indictment appeared to serve as a way for Mueller to “assert leverage” over Manafort.

“The vernacular,” he said “is to sing.”

Ellis did not issue a ruling on Manafort’s motion to dismiss the indictment Friday.


But he asked why a run-of-the-mill bank fraud case with no “reference to any Russian individual or Russian bank” could not be handed over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia.

As an example, he pointed to the FBI’s probe into Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, and mused that the special counsel had turned that matter over to prosecutors in Manhattan.

Dreeben declined to discuss the Cohen case, but said that Mueller’s probe into Manafort was authorized by Rosenstein.

Rosenstein’s May 2017 order laying out the scope of the probe, he told the judge, did not reveal all the details because they involve sensitive national security and counterintelligence matters that could not be divulged publicly, but were conveyed to Mueller.

Ellis balked, saying Dreeben’s answer essentially means the Justice Department was “not really telling the truth” about the probe and invites someone to respond by saying, “Come on, man!”

Dreeben also stressed that Rosenstein wrote another memo two months later, in August 2017, explicitly granting Mueller the power to investigate Manafort’s Ukraine dealings years before the 2016 election.

Ellis complained that the bulk of that August memo he has received was highly redacted.

He directed Mueller’s office to take two weeks to consult with U.S. intelligence agencies to see if they will sign off so that he can personally review a sealed, unredacted version of the memo.

Dreeben told him the redacted portions did not pertain to the Manafort case.

“I’ll be the judge,” Ellis said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1I51WE
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:39 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Once charges are filed, isn't it obvious they're on a side? That of prosecuting the person they think committed crimes?
Ok, I understand your reluctance to criticize the get Trump side.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:41 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Just seems like a good legal maneuver considering the "side" they're representing.
Pretty damning post there FMB, it pretty much highlights the issue at hand.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:11 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Just seems like a good legal maneuver considering the "side" they're representing.
What "side" is that? And if there are "sides", and they aren't on Trump's "side", what would be wrong with Trump's "side" pressuring people on Trump's "side" to fire Mueller?
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:30 PM   #184
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Mueller slammed by Judge in Manfort Case

Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryDayz View Post
What "side" is that? And if there are "sides", and they aren't on Trump's "side", what would be wrong with Trump's "side" pressuring people on Trump's "side" to fire Mueller?
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Originally Posted by Marcellus View Post
Pretty damning post there FMB, it pretty much highlights the issue at hand.




The prosecution vs. the defense. That’s the “side” I’m talking about.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:37 PM   #185
GloryDayz GloryDayz is offline
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
The prosecution vs. the defense. That’s the “side” I’m talking about.
Well, since there are sides, Trump's side needs to fight back with the options they have. You know, since Mueller's not holding back, why should Trump's side?
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:41 PM   #186
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Muellers 13 indicted Russian entities were posting in Russian to change the elections in the English speaking country of American..
YOU CANT MAKE THIS SHIT UP
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:52 PM   #187
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Just seems like a good legal maneuver considering the "side" they're representing.

The "side"? So you admit the SC does represent a "side"?
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All kinds of people vote. Not enough of those people think highly enough of Trump to make him President but all kinds of people vote.
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So, if they were polling better than Trump and the primary goal was to prevent Hillary from becoming POTUS, perhaps it would have been a better strategic decision to nominate someone who actually had a chance of beating her and preventing that than nominating Donald Trump.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:52 PM   #188
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Once charges are filed, isn't it obvious they're on a side? That of prosecuting the person they think committed crimes?
You mean that of investigating to see IF a crime was committed, don't you?
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All kinds of people vote. Not enough of those people think highly enough of Trump to make him President but all kinds of people vote.
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So, if they were polling better than Trump and the primary goal was to prevent Hillary from becoming POTUS, perhaps it would have been a better strategic decision to nominate someone who actually had a chance of beating her and preventing that than nominating Donald Trump.
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Old 05-21-2018, 04:58 PM   #189
Fire Me Boy! Fire Me Boy! is offline
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Originally Posted by petegz28 View Post
The "side"? So you admit the SC does represent a "side"?


Not of they don’t find evidence of a crime.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:43 PM   #190
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Originally Posted by Fire Me Boy! View Post
Not of they don’t find evidence of a crime.
I think you need to re-consider all of your posts in this thread up to this one.
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So, if they were polling better than Trump and the primary goal was to prevent Hillary from becoming POTUS, perhaps it would have been a better strategic decision to nominate someone who actually had a chance of beating her and preventing that than nominating Donald Trump.
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