Friday, August 3, 2018

Mueller prosecutors 'go low' in Manafort trial and are rebuked by judge

The following article appeared in the American Thinker on August 2nd

I am starting to wonder if Robert Mueller is seriously worried about losing his first case to go to trial as special counsel.  The prosecutors working for him are using illegitimate means to obtain a conviction and have been rebuked by Judge T.S. Ellis for their underhanded attempts to sway jurors using envy and class hatred instead of the facts of the case.

Peter Doocy reports for Fox News:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors were lectured by a federal judge on Wednesday for the language they've used in the courtroom and more, as the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort entered its second day.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III specifically told prosecutors to stop using the word "oligarch" to describe wealthy Ukrainians, whose dealings with Manafort are at the heart of the fraud charges he faces in northern Virginia federal court.

The judge said the term has a "pejorative" meaning and is not relevant in this case.  Further, he cautioned that using it could suggest Manafort is associated with bad people – and guilty by association.

"It's not the American way," the judge said.  He noted that wealthy donors like George Soros or the Koch brothers also could be considered oligarchs. 

That's only part of the pattern of abuse:

The Mueller team was later rebuffed again by Ellis when they [sic] tried to introduce photos that eventually would become public of Manafort's closets filled with suits and high-end clothing.

While it's part of their effort to paint Manafort as a tax scofflaw who spent big on luxury items, Ellis would not allow the photos for now.

"Enough is enough.  We don't convict people because they have a lot of money and throw it around," he said. 

The judge said the photos would seem "unnecessary, irrelevant" and potentially "prejudicial."  Further, he reminded the lawyers that Manafort "is not on trial for having a lavish lifestyle, but for not reporting income on his taxes." 

In theory, prosecutors are supposed to pursue justice, not simply victory.  But the Mueller team seems to be composed of people motivated by a desire to harm President Trump.

There may be a time bomb waiting to be detonated against the prosecution when the defense presents its case.  Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit features the opinion of Judge Andrew Napolitano of Fox News, pointing out that the DOJ already passed on its chance to prosecute Manafort on these same charges and that this creates opportunity for the defense.

Here's the Transcript via Bizzy Blog:
Napolitano to Steve Doocy video link HERE

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Here's Manafort's defense: I was investigated for all this by the government eight years ago, and I was exonerated. And I'm going to put on the stand as my first witness the young lawyer who exonerated me.

You know who that young lawyer is? Rod Rosenstein.


NAPOLITANO: Yes! So this is going to be quite a show if they succeed in getting Rosenstein, who now runs the Justice Department —

DOOCY: So why was I innocent then and guilty now?

NAPOLITANO: There you go.

That's correct!
Manafort was "exonerated" by federal prosecutors led by Rod Rosenstein.

Here is video of Judge Napolitano making this point on Fox & Friends, and then a later appearance on Neil Cavuto's show being hosted by Trish Reagan:

I have never had a favorable opinion of Paul Manafort's character and considered it quite possible that he is guilty of the accusations against him of financial crimes (nothing related to Russia, and predating his work on the Trump campaign).  But the fact that Mueller has delegated this trial to junior prosecutors and presumably approves their spurious appeals to jurors leads me to believe that his case might be weak.

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