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The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Monday, May 7, 2018
Judge Ellis is on the case
article appeared in Powerline on May 5th
By Paul Mirengoff
Tim Ellis was a young
partner at the law firm I started with when I left the government in the early
1980s. I worked with him briefly on a pro bono matter. The matter wasn’t active
long enough for me really to get to know Ellis, but there was no doubting his
inquisitiveness, thoroughness, doggedness, and strong sense of justice.
I don’t think Ellis
would have won any popularity contests among associates at the firm. Years
after he left to become a federal judge, former colleagues were still telling
Tim Ellis stories. Not all of the stories were flattering or told with
affection. However, I’m pretty sure everyone who told them respected Ellis. It
was hard not to.
I never appeared in
Judge T.S. Ellis’ courtroom across the river in Alexandria, Virginia, but know
many litigators who did. He wouldn’t have won any popularity contests among
these attorneys either, but again, he was well respected.
On the bench, Ellis’
inquisitiveness, thoroughness, doggedness, and strong sense of justice were on
display for all to see. He also favored lengthy, scholarly opinions on a court
long known for brevity.
It seemed to me that
Ellis was likely to end up on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
He would have made a fine appellate judge, but the call never came.
Mueller appeared in Judge T.S. Ellis’ courtroom, the case against Paul Manafort
having landed there. I would have paid admission to be present.
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. . . .
There was more:
During the oral arguments, Ellis repeatedly chided Mueller’s $10
million budget. He also asked whether [Rod] 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 was blunt, as
always. “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” he
told Dreeben. Rather, the prosecution is interested in Manafort because of
his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s “prosecution or
Manafort, Mueller and Rosenstein
Ellis clearly isn’t
eager to be enlisted for this purpose. Though he did not issue a ruling on
Manafort’s motion to dismiss the indictment, he did ask 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
As an example, he
pointed to the FBI’s probe into Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen. In that
case, he noted, the special counsel turned that matter over to prosecutors in
Dreeben declined to
discuss the Cohen case, but said that Mueller’s probe into Manafort was
authorized by Rosenstein. No one who has worked with or litigated before Ellis
would have been surprised by what
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
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
“I’ll be the judge,” Ellis said.
James Freeman of the
Wall Street Journal summarizes the situation this
The judge is not just searching for an explanation as to how the
Manafort prosecution relates to Russia and the 2016 election. He also wants to
know just how far the special counsel’s authority extends. Team Mueller doesn’t
want to tell him.
After all these
years, Ellis remains as inquisitive, thorough, dogged, and outraged by the hint
of injustice as ever. It’s about time Team Mueller had to explain itself to
someone like that.